Emergence of feelings
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Emergence of feelings

Summary
Antonio Damasio argues that ancient & fundamental homeostatic is, according to Damasio, the fundamental set of operations at the core of life, from the earliest and long-vanished point of its beginning in early biochemistry to the present.  It is the powerful, unthought, unspoken imperative, whose discharge implies, for every living organism, small or large, nothing less than enduring and prevailing.  Damasio stresses that the operations that ensure prevailing ensure life is regulated within a range that is not just compatible with survival but also conducive to flourishing, to protection of life into the future of an organism or a species.  Prevailing implies mechanisms for monitoring and modeling the state of the organism, controlling and constraining the flows of energy and resources through schematic agency, and to facilitate exploring the environment and acting on signals of modeled opportunities and threats.  Global homeostasis of multi-organ animals requires endocrine, immune, circulatory and nervous 'systems' and results in the emergence of minds, feelings, consciousness, machinery of affect and complex movements.  The emergence of feelings allowed the homeostatic process to become enhanced by a subjective representation of the organism's state and proximate environment within the mind.  Feelings operating in minds allowed conscious decisions to extend homeostasis to the sociocultural domain. 
processes, built into behaviors and updated by
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
evolution
have resulted in the
This page discusses the mechanisms and effects of emergence underpinning any complex adaptive system (CAS).  Physical forces and constraints follow the rules of complexity.  They generate phenomena and support the indirect emergence of epiphenomena.  Flows of epiphenomena interact in events which support the emergence of equilibrium and autonomous entities.  Autonomous entities enable evolution to operate broadening the adjacent possible.  Key research is reviewed. 
emergence
of  nervous systems and feelings are subjective models: sad, glad, mad, scared, surprised, and compassionate; of the organism and its proximate environment, including ratings of situations signalled by broadly distributed chemicals and neural circuits.  These feelings become highly salient inputs, evolutionarily associated, to higher level emotions encoded in neural circuits: amygdala, and insula.  Deacon shows James' conception of feeling can build sentience.  Damasio, similarly, asserts feelings reveal to the conscious mind the subjective status of life: good, bad, in between; within a higher organism.  They especially indicate the affective situation within the old interior world of the viscera located in the abdomen, thorax and thick of the skin - so smiling makes one feel happy; but augmented with the reports from the situation of the new interior world of voluntary muscles.  Repeated experiences build intermediate narratives, in the mind, which reduce the salience.  Damasio concludes feelings relate closely and consistently with homeostasis, acting as its mental deputies once organisms developed 'nervous systems' about 600 million years ago, and building on the precursor regulatory devices supplied by evolution to social insects and prokaryotes and leveraging analogous dynamic constraints.  Damasio suggests feelings contribute to the development of culture:
  • As motives for intellectual creation: prompting detection and diagnosis of homeostatic deficiencies, identifying desirable states worthy of creative effort.
  • As monitors of the success and failure of cultural instruments and practices
  • As participants in the negotiation of adjustments required by the cultural process over time 
.  These feelings, representing the state of the viscera, and represented with general systems supporting enteric operation, are later ubiquitously integrated into the 'images' built by the minds of higher animals including humans. 

Damasio highlights the separate development of the body frame in the building of minds. 

Damasio explains that this integration of feelings by minds supports the development of subjectivity and consciousness.  His chain of emergence suggests the 'order of things.'  He stresses the end-to-end integration of the organism which undermines dualism is an assumed separation of the mind and body.  It has a long history.  Descartes's Cartesian dualism assumes the mind and body are two clocks in synchrony but otherwise unrelated.  John Locke commented 'It is impossible to conceive that matter, either with or without motion, could have, originally, in and from itself, sense, perception, and knowledge; as is evident from hence, that then sense, perception, and knowledge, must be a property eternally separable from matter and every particle of it.'  Chalmers describes this explanatory gap as the hard problem of consciousness.  Damasio explains that the construction of feelings requires there be no duality, and he shows how it then emerged due to the structure of affect in humans. 
.  And he reviews Chalmers hard problem of consciousness

Damasio reviews the emergence of cultures and sees feelings, integrated with reason, as the judges of the cultural creative process, linking culture is how we do and think about things, transmitted by non-genetic means as defined by Frans de Waal.  CAS theory views cultures as operating via memetic schemata evolved by memetic operators to support a cultural superorganism.  Evolutionary psychology asserts that human culture reflects adaptations generated while hunting and gathering.  Dehaene views culture as essentially human, shaped by exaptations and reading, transmitted with support of the neuronal workspace and stabilized by neuronal recycling.  Damasio notes prokaryotes and social insects have developed cultural social behaviors.  Sapolsky argues that parents must show children how to transform their genetically derived capabilities into a culturally effective toolset.  He is interested in the broad differences across cultures of: Life expectancy, GDP, Death in childbirth, Violence, Chronic bullying, Gender equality, Happiness, Response to cheating, Individualist or collectivist, Enforcing honor, Approach to hierarchy; illustrating how different a person's life will be depending on the culture where they are raised.  Culture:
  • Is deployed during pregnancy & childhood, with parental mediation.  Nutrients, immune messages and hormones all affect the prenatal brain.  Hormones: Testosterone with anti-Mullerian hormone masculinizes the brain by entering target cells and after conversion to estrogen binding to intracellular estrogen receptors; have organizational effects producing lifelong changes.  Parenting style typically produces adults who adopt the same approach.  And mothering style can alter gene regulation in the fetus in ways that transfer epigenetically to future generations!  PMS symptoms vary by culture. 
  • Is also significantly transmitted to children by their peers during play.  So parents try to control their children's peer group.  
  • Is transmitted to children by their neighborhoods, tribes, nations etc. 
  • Influences the parenting style that is considered appropriate. 
  • Can transform dominance into honor.  There are ecological correlates of adopting honor cultures.  Parents in honor cultures are typically authoritarian. 
  • Is strongly adapted across a meta-ethnic frontier according to Turchin.  
  • Across Europe was shaped by the Carolingian empire. 
  • Can provide varying levels of support for innovation.  Damasio suggests culture is influenced by feelings: 
    • As motives for intellectual creation: prompting detection and diagnosis of homeostatic deficiencies, identifying desirable states worthy of creative effort.
    • As monitors of the success and failure of cultural instruments and practices
    • As participants in the negotiation of adjustments required by the cultural process over time 
  • Produces consciousness according to Dennet. 
to homeostasis.  He sees cultures as supporting the development of tools to improve our lives.  But the results of the creative process have added stresses to our lives

Following our summary of his arguments RSS is Rob's Strategy Studio frames his arguments from the perspective of complex adaptive system (CAS) theory.  Each of the [super is a wealthy autonomous entity needing and controlling the richest niches in the proximate environment, that emerges from the bundled cooperation of schematically aligned agents.   The term is based on the social insect model, used by: ants, termites, and bees; and identified by Holldobler & E.O. Wilson.  For humans it is an evolved cultural strategy used when the environment is supportive.  It depends on inter-agent signalling.  In both insects and humans it allows specialization, and encourages operations and flows that are tightly controlled, limiting waste, leveraging parallel activity, supporting coherence.  Superorganisms reflect cliodynamic flows.  A superorganism has a development and operational phase.  As additional agents are coopted into the superorganism they align, participate in supply and demand activities and so contribute to the evolutionary amplification.  Damasio notes that prokaryotes, in rich environments, can similarly operate in a symbiotic fashion expressing cultural behaviors. 
]organisms discussed is a CAS reflecting the theory of such systems:

The Strange Order of Things
In Antonio Damasio's book 'The Strange Order of Things' he argues that the development of neuron, specialized eukaryotic cells include channels which control flows of sodium and potassium ions across the massively extended cell membrane supporting an electro-chemical wave which is then converted into an outgoing chemical signal transmission from synapses which target nearby neuron or muscle cell receptors.  Neurons are supported by glial cells.  Neurons include a:
  • Receptive element - dendrites
  • Transmitting element - axon and synaptic terminals.  The axon may be myelinated, focusing the signals through synaptic transmission, or unmyelinated - where crosstalk is leveraged. 
  • Highly variable DNA schema using transposons. 
networks was a relatively late
This page discusses the mechanisms and effects of emergence underpinning any complex adaptive system (CAS).  Physical forces and constraints follow the rules of complexity.  They generate phenomena and support the indirect emergence of epiphenomena.  Flows of epiphenomena interact in events which support the emergence of equilibrium and autonomous entities.  Autonomous entities enable evolution to operate broadening the adjacent possible.  Key research is reviewed. 
emergent
event in the
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
evolution
of multi-cellular eukaryotes is a relatively large multi-component cell type.  It initially emerged from prokaryotic archaea subsuming eubacteria, from which single and multi-celled plants, multi celled fungi, including single-cell variant yeast, drips, protozoa and metazoa, including humans, are constructed.  A eukaryotic cell contains modules including a nucleus and production functions such as chloroplasts and mitochondria. 
, enabled by the need to maintain homeostasis is, according to Damasio, the fundamental set of operations at the core of life, from the earliest and long-vanished point of its beginning in early biochemistry to the present.  It is the powerful, unthought, unspoken imperative, whose discharge implies, for every living organism, small or large, nothing less than enduring and prevailing.  Damasio stresses that the operations that ensure prevailing ensure life is regulated within a range that is not just compatible with survival but also conducive to flourishing, to protection of life into the future of an organism or a species.  Prevailing implies mechanisms for monitoring and modeling the state of the organism, controlling and constraining the flows of energy and resources through schematic agency, and to facilitate exploring the environment and acting on signals of modeled opportunities and threats.  Global homeostasis of multi-organ animals requires endocrine, immune, circulatory and nervous 'systems' and results in the emergence of minds, feelings, consciousness, machinery of affect and complex movements.  The emergence of feelings allowed the homeostatic process to become enhanced by a subjective representation of the organism's state and proximate environment within the mind.  Feelings operating in minds allowed conscious decisions to extend homeostasis to the sociocultural domain. 
, which in multi-cellular life forms was supported by the development of feelings are subjective models: sad, glad, mad, scared, surprised, and compassionate; of the organism and its proximate environment, including ratings of situations signalled by broadly distributed chemicals and neural circuits.  These feelings become highly salient inputs, evolutionarily associated, to higher level emotions encoded in neural circuits: amygdala, and insula.  Deacon shows James' conception of feeling can build sentience.  Damasio, similarly, asserts feelings reveal to the conscious mind the subjective status of life: good, bad, in between; within a higher organism.  They especially indicate the affective situation within the old interior world of the viscera located in the abdomen, thorax and thick of the skin - so smiling makes one feel happy; but augmented with the reports from the situation of the new interior world of voluntary muscles.  Repeated experiences build intermediate narratives, in the mind, which reduce the salience.  Damasio concludes feelings relate closely and consistently with homeostasis, acting as its mental deputies once organisms developed 'nervous systems' about 600 million years ago, and building on the precursor regulatory devices supplied by evolution to social insects and prokaryotes and leveraging analogous dynamic constraints.  Damasio suggests feelings contribute to the development of culture:
  • As motives for intellectual creation: prompting detection and diagnosis of homeostatic deficiencies, identifying desirable states worthy of creative effort.
  • As monitors of the success and failure of cultural instruments and practices
  • As participants in the negotiation of adjustments required by the cultural process over time 
.  Integration of feelings by minds, supports the development of subjectivity, consciousness and culture

About Life and its regulation (homeostasis)
On the human condition
Damasio notes two facts:
  1. 100 million years ago
    E. O. Wilson & Bert Holldobler illustrate how bundled cooperative strategies can take hold.  Various social insects have developed strategies which have allowed them to capture the most valuable available niches.  Like humans they invest in specialization and cooperate to subdue larger, well equipped competitors. 
    insect
    superorganisms is a wealthy autonomous entity needing and controlling the richest niches in the proximate environment, that emerges from the bundled cooperation of schematically aligned agents.   The term is based on the social insect model, used by: ants, termites, and bees; and identified by Holldobler & E.O. Wilson.  For humans it is an evolved cultural strategy used when the environment is supportive.  It depends on inter-agent signalling.  In both insects and humans it allows specialization, and encourages operations and flows that are tightly controlled, limiting waste, leveraging parallel activity, supporting coherence.  Superorganisms reflect cliodynamic flows.  A superorganism has a development and operational phase.  As additional agents are coopted into the superorganism they align, participate in supply and demand activities and so contribute to the evolutionary amplification.  Damasio notes that prokaryotes, in rich environments, can similarly operate in a symbiotic fashion expressing cultural behaviors. 
    emerged, demonstrating cultural is how we do and think about things, transmitted by non-genetic means as defined by Frans de Waal.  CAS theory views cultures as operating via memetic schemata evolved by memetic operators to support a cultural superorganism.  Evolutionary psychology asserts that human culture reflects adaptations generated while hunting and gathering.  Dehaene views culture as essentially human, shaped by exaptations and reading, transmitted with support of the neuronal workspace and stabilized by neuronal recycling.  Damasio notes prokaryotes and social insects have developed cultural social behaviors.  Sapolsky argues that parents must show children how to transform their genetically derived capabilities into a culturally effective toolset.  He is interested in the broad differences across cultures of: Life expectancy, GDP, Death in childbirth, Violence, Chronic bullying, Gender equality, Happiness, Response to cheating, Individualist or collectivist, Enforcing honor, Approach to hierarchy; illustrating how different a person's life will be depending on the culture where they are raised.  Culture:
    • Is deployed during pregnancy & childhood, with parental mediation.  Nutrients, immune messages and hormones all affect the prenatal brain.  Hormones: Testosterone with anti-Mullerian hormone masculinizes the brain by entering target cells and after conversion to estrogen binding to intracellular estrogen receptors; have organizational effects producing lifelong changes.  Parenting style typically produces adults who adopt the same approach.  And mothering style can alter gene regulation in the fetus in ways that transfer epigenetically to future generations!  PMS symptoms vary by culture. 
    • Is also significantly transmitted to children by their peers during play.  So parents try to control their children's peer group.  
    • Is transmitted to children by their neighborhoods, tribes, nations etc. 
    • Influences the parenting style that is considered appropriate. 
    • Can transform dominance into honor.  There are ecological correlates of adopting honor cultures.  Parents in honor cultures are typically authoritarian. 
    • Is strongly adapted across a meta-ethnic frontier according to Turchin.  
    • Across Europe was shaped by the Carolingian empire. 
    • Can provide varying levels of support for innovation.  Damasio suggests culture is influenced by feelings: 
      • As motives for intellectual creation: prompting detection and diagnosis of homeostatic deficiencies, identifying desirable states worthy of creative effort.
      • As monitors of the success and failure of cultural instruments and practices
      • As participants in the negotiation of adjustments required by the cultural process over time 
    • Produces consciousness according to Dennet. 
    social behaviors that rival human culture in complexity, M. Mitchell Waldrop describes a vision of complexity via:
    • Rich interactions that allow a system to undergo spontaneous self-organization
    • Systems that are adaptive
    • More predictability than chaotic systems by bringing order and chaos into
    • Balance at the edge of chaos
    .  But Damasio notes they do not ponder alternatives, but simply act without thinking. 
  2. Several billion years ago, prokaryotes, a single cell system with two main types: (1) Archaea, and (2) Eubacteria.  Prokaryotes have their own DNA and infrastructure within a single enclosure.  They are biochemically very versatile: Photosynthesis -> Electron transport & phosphorylation, Enzymatic regulation and catalysis of chemical reactions, Catabolize -> phosphate bond energy, ATP cycle, glycolysis, TCA cycle, Electron transports, oxidative phosphorylation, oxidation of fatty acids, oxidative degradation of amino acids; Biosynthesis & utilization of phosphate bond energy -> carbohydrates, lipids, amino acids, nucleotides, muscle & motile structures; membrane barriers & active transports, hormones; Replication, Transcription, Translation, Regulation of gene expression; self-assembly; They utilize cell membrane receptors and signalling to support symbiotic cooperation with other cellular entities, including: in the microbiome, and as chloroplasts and mitochondria within eukaryotic cells. 
    exhibited
    Plans emerge in complex adaptive systems (CAS) to provide the instructions that agents use to perform actions.  The component architecture and structure of the plans is reviewed. 
    schematically driven
    social behaviors: cooperating with others, when the situation encourages this, and punishing defectors, analogous to those of human sociocultural behaviors; which contradict the notion that complex social behavior capable of improving life of a group developed in the
    Computational theory of the mind and evolutionary psychology provide Steven Pinker with a framework on which to develop his psychological arguments about the mind and its relationship to the brain.  Humans captured a cognitive niche by natural selection 'building out' specialized aspects of their bodies and brains resulting in a system of mental organs we call the mind. 

    He garnishes and defends the framework with findings from psychology regarding: The visual system - an example of natural selections solutions to the sensory challenges of inverse modeling of our environment; Intensions - where he highlights the challenges of hunter gatherers - making sense of the objects they perceive and predicting what they imply and natural selections powerful solutions; Emotions - which Pinker argues are essential to human prioritizing and decision making; Relationships - natural selection's strategies for coping with the most dangerous competitors, other people.  He helps us understand marriage, friendships and war. 

    These conclusions allow him to understand the development and maintenance of higher callings: Art, Music, Literature, Humor, Religion, & Philosophy; and develop a position on the meaning of life. 

    Complex adaptive system (CAS) modeling allows RSS to frame Pinker's arguments within humanity's current situation, induced by powerful evolved amplifiers: Globalization, Cliodynamics, The green revolution and resource bottlenecks; melding his powerful predictions of the drivers of human behavior with system wide constraints.  The implications are discussed. 

    minds
    of evolved
    This page reviews the implications of reproduction initially generating a single child cell.  The mechanism and resulting strategic options are discussed. 
    organisms
    similar enough to humans to induce culture is how we do and think about things, transmitted by non-genetic means as defined by Frans de Waal.  CAS theory views cultures as operating via memetic schemata evolved by memetic operators to support a cultural superorganism.  Evolutionary psychology asserts that human culture reflects adaptations generated while hunting and gathering.  Dehaene views culture as essentially human, shaped by exaptations and reading, transmitted with support of the neuronal workspace and stabilized by neuronal recycling.  Damasio notes prokaryotes and social insects have developed cultural social behaviors.  Sapolsky argues that parents must show children how to transform their genetically derived capabilities into a culturally effective toolset.  He is interested in the broad differences across cultures of: Life expectancy, GDP, Death in childbirth, Violence, Chronic bullying, Gender equality, Happiness, Response to cheating, Individualist or collectivist, Enforcing honor, Approach to hierarchy; illustrating how different a person's life will be depending on the culture where they are raised.  Culture:
    • Is deployed during pregnancy & childhood, with parental mediation.  Nutrients, immune messages and hormones all affect the prenatal brain.  Hormones: Testosterone with anti-Mullerian hormone masculinizes the brain by entering target cells and after conversion to estrogen binding to intracellular estrogen receptors; have organizational effects producing lifelong changes.  Parenting style typically produces adults who adopt the same approach.  And mothering style can alter gene regulation in the fetus in ways that transfer epigenetically to future generations!  PMS symptoms vary by culture. 
    • Is also significantly transmitted to children by their peers during play.  So parents try to control their children's peer group.  
    • Is transmitted to children by their neighborhoods, tribes, nations etc. 
    • Influences the parenting style that is considered appropriate. 
    • Can transform dominance into honor.  There are ecological correlates of adopting honor cultures.  Parents in honor cultures are typically authoritarian. 
    • Is strongly adapted across a meta-ethnic frontier according to Turchin.  
    • Across Europe was shaped by the Carolingian empire. 
    • Can provide varying levels of support for innovation.  Damasio suggests culture is influenced by feelings: 
      • As motives for intellectual creation: prompting detection and diagnosis of homeostatic deficiencies, identifying desirable states worthy of creative effort.
      • As monitors of the success and failure of cultural instruments and practices
      • As participants in the negotiation of adjustments required by the cultural process over time 
    • Produces consciousness according to Dennet. 
    .  
Damasio stresses that
Plans emerge in complex adaptive systems (CAS) to provide the instructions that agents use to perform actions.  The component architecture and structure of the plans is reviewed. 
genetic
selection generated behavioral solutions in which bacteria use signalling, is an emergent capability which is used by cooperating agents to support coordination & rival agents to support control and dominance.  In eukaryotic cells signalling is used extensively.  A signal interacts with the exposed region of a receptor molecule inducing it to change shape to an activated form.  Chains of enzymes interact with the activated receptor relaying, amplifying and responding to the signal to change the state of the cell.  Many of the signalling pathways pass through the nuclear membrane and interact with the DNA to change its state.  Enzymes sensitive to the changes induced in the DNA then start to operate generating actions including sending further signals.  Cell signalling is reviewed by Helmreich.  Signalling is a fundamental aspect of CAS theory and is discussed from the abstract CAS perspective in signals and sensors.  In AWF the eukaryotic signalling architecture has been abstracted in a codelet based implementation.  To be credible signals must be hard to fake.  To be effective they must be easily detected by the target recipient.  To be efficient they are low cost to produce and destroy. 
to receptors, in biological cells these proteins are able to span the cell membrane and present an active site which is tailored to interact with a specific signal.  When the receptor pairs with its signal, its overall shape changes resulting in changes in the part internal to the cell which can be relayed by the cells signalling infrastructure.  In neuron synapses one type of receptor (fast) is associated with an ion channel.  The other (slow) is associated with a signalling enzyme chain and modulates the neuron's response. 
installed in the membranes, formed from a lipid (fat) bilayer which creates a barrier between aqueous (water soluble) media.  In AWF a key property of membranes - their providing a catalytic environment and supporting the suspension of enzymatically active proteins within the membrane; is simulated with a Workspace list where 'active' structures can be inserted and codelets can detect and act on the structure's active promise configured as an association in the Slipnet.   of symbiotic is a long term situation between two, or more, different agents where the resources of both are shared for mutual benefit.  Some of the relationships have built remarkable dependencies: Tremblaya's partnership with citrus mealybugs and bacterial DNA residing in the mealybug's genome, Aphids with species of secondary symbiont bacteria deployed sexually from a male aphid sperm reservoir and propagated asexually by female aphids only while their local diet induces a dependency.  If the power relations and opportunities change for the participants then they will adapt and the situation may transform into separation, predation or parasitism. 
partners, creating a mechanism operating like taste or smell in humans.  And they could respond to injury with chemical and physical reactions that stabilized and supported defense, useful capabilities
Richard Dawkin's explores how nature has created implementations of designs, without any need for planning or design, through the accumulation of small advantageous changes. 
captured by evolution for its reusable toolbox


For Domasio feelings support the subjective aspects of consciousness.  These facilities were needed and available long before the
This page discusses the mechanisms and effects of emergence underpinning any complex adaptive system (CAS).  Physical forces and constraints follow the rules of complexity.  They generate phenomena and support the indirect emergence of epiphenomena.  Flows of epiphenomena interact in events which support the emergence of equilibrium and autonomous entities.  Autonomous entities enable evolution to operate broadening the adjacent possible.  Key research is reviewed. 
emergence
of the cerebral cortex includes the paleocortex a thin sheet of cells that mostly process smell, archicortex and the neocortex.  The cerebral cortex is a pair of large folded sheets of brain tissue, one on either side of the top of the head connected by the corpus callosum.  It includes the occipital, parietal, temporal and frontal lobes. 
.  They were available to a wide variety of multi-cellular life forms: vertebrates, invertebrates with CNS is the central nervous system
designs including spines and brain stems, social insects, octopuses; being needed to extend homeostatic constraints to distributed body plans. 

Damasio argues that the similarities between social and affective behaviors of: single-celled
This page reviews the implications of reproduction initially generating a single child cell.  The mechanism and resulting strategic options are discussed. 
organisms
, sponges & hydras, cephalopods, and mammals; indicates a common root to life regulation supporting homeostasis is, according to Damasio, the fundamental set of operations at the core of life, from the earliest and long-vanished point of its beginning in early biochemistry to the present.  It is the powerful, unthought, unspoken imperative, whose discharge implies, for every living organism, small or large, nothing less than enduring and prevailing.  Damasio stresses that the operations that ensure prevailing ensure life is regulated within a range that is not just compatible with survival but also conducive to flourishing, to protection of life into the future of an organism or a species.  Prevailing implies mechanisms for monitoring and modeling the state of the organism, controlling and constraining the flows of energy and resources through schematic agency, and to facilitate exploring the environment and acting on signals of modeled opportunities and threats.  Global homeostasis of multi-organ animals requires endocrine, immune, circulatory and nervous 'systems' and results in the emergence of minds, feelings, consciousness, machinery of affect and complex movements.  The emergence of feelings allowed the homeostatic process to become enhanced by a subjective representation of the organism's state and proximate environment within the mind.  Feelings operating in minds allowed conscious decisions to extend homeostasis to the sociocultural domain. 
.  'Nervous systems'
This page discusses the mechanisms and effects of emergence underpinning any complex adaptive system (CAS).  Physical forces and constraints follow the rules of complexity.  They generate phenomena and support the indirect emergence of epiphenomena.  Flows of epiphenomena interact in events which support the emergence of equilibrium and autonomous entities.  Autonomous entities enable evolution to operate broadening the adjacent possible.  Key research is reviewed. 
emerged
as a tool to help complicated organisms maintain homeostasis while expanding life's accessible niches.  And Damasio stresses that the capabilities obtained: feelings are subjective models: sad, glad, mad, scared, surprised, and compassionate; of the organism and its proximate environment, including ratings of situations signalled by broadly distributed chemicals and neural circuits.  These feelings become highly salient inputs, evolutionarily associated, to higher level emotions encoded in neural circuits: amygdala, and insula.  Deacon shows James' conception of feeling can build sentience.  Damasio, similarly, asserts feelings reveal to the conscious mind the subjective status of life: good, bad, in between; within a higher organism.  They especially indicate the affective situation within the old interior world of the viscera located in the abdomen, thorax and thick of the skin - so smiling makes one feel happy; but augmented with the reports from the situation of the new interior world of voluntary muscles.  Repeated experiences build intermediate narratives, in the mind, which reduce the salience.  Damasio concludes feelings relate closely and consistently with homeostasis, acting as its mental deputies once organisms developed 'nervous systems' about 600 million years ago, and building on the precursor regulatory devices supplied by evolution to social insects and prokaryotes and leveraging analogous dynamic constraints.  Damasio suggests feelings contribute to the development of culture:
  • As motives for intellectual creation: prompting detection and diagnosis of homeostatic deficiencies, identifying desirable states worthy of creative effort.
  • As monitors of the success and failure of cultural instruments and practices
  • As participants in the negotiation of adjustments required by the cultural process over time 
; were invested in the whole organism, not a part of it: the brain. 

He notes that McCulloch & Pitts developed a simple abstraction of a network of neurons which supported Norbert Wiener & Claude Shannon, Claude Shannon was a key figure in information theory and computation.  He developed an electronic circuit using Boolean algebra which simplified the design and operation of a digital computer system enabling architectures such as Von Neumann's to become practical.  He also developed the mathematical models of information transfer which support information entropy. 
's ideas of intelligence enables the achievement of goals in the face of obstacles.  The goals are sub-goals of genes' survival and reproduction and include:
  • Obtaining and eating food
  • Sex
  • Finding and maintaining shelter
  • Fighting for resources - in the preferred hunter gatherer environment loss of resources was critical while possession was often transient. 
  • Understanding the proximate environment
  • Securing the cooperation of others 
, enabling the development of a dualistic is an assumed separation of the mind and body.  It has a long history.  Descartes's Cartesian dualism assumes the mind and body are two clocks in synchrony but otherwise unrelated.  John Locke commented 'It is impossible to conceive that matter, either with or without motion, could have, originally, in and from itself, sense, perception, and knowledge; as is evident from hence, that then sense, perception, and knowledge, must be a property eternally separable from matter and every particle of it.'  Chalmers describes this explanatory gap as the hard problem of consciousness.  Damasio explains that the construction of feelings requires there be no duality, and he shows how it then emerged due to the structure of affect in humans. 
model: of thinking neural circuits, a network of interconnected neurons which perform signalling, modeling and control functions.  In Cajal's basic neural circuits the signalling is unidirectional.  He identified three classes of neurons in the circuits:
  • Sensory, Interneurons, Motor; which are biochemically distinct and suffer different disease states. 
, and brainless body; that sows confusion about the order of
This page discusses the mechanisms and effects of emergence underpinning any complex adaptive system (CAS).  Physical forces and constraints follow the rules of complexity.  They generate phenomena and support the indirect emergence of epiphenomena.  Flows of epiphenomena interact in events which support the emergence of equilibrium and autonomous entities.  Autonomous entities enable evolution to operate broadening the adjacent possible.  Key research is reviewed. 
emergence
of life. 

The continuity and interactivity of 'nervous systems' and organisms allows neurons, specialized eukaryotic cells include channels which control flows of sodium and potassium ions across the massively extended cell membrane supporting an electro-chemical wave which is then converted into an outgoing chemical signal transmission from synapses which target nearby neuron or muscle cell receptors.  Neurons are supported by glial cells.  Neurons include a:
  • Receptive element - dendrites
  • Transmitting element - axon and synaptic terminals.  The axon may be myelinated, focusing the signals through synaptic transmission, or unmyelinated - where crosstalk is leveraged. 
  • Highly variable DNA schema using transposons. 
to reach every part of the body and report on its local
This page discusses the potential of the vast state space which supports the emergence of complex adaptive systems (CAS).  Kauffman describes the mechanism by which the system expands across the space. 
state
to: spinal ganglia is a cluster of neurons, in the dorsal root of a spinal nerve. 
, trigeminal ganglia is a sensory ganglion of the trigeminal nerve. 
, and CNS is the central nervous system
nuclei is a cluster of unmyelinated neurons, located in the brain stem or cerebral cortex. 
.  The nuclei can respond to the state reports and induce actions.  And the cerebral cortices includes the paleocortex a thin sheet of cells that mostly process smell, archicortex and the neocortex.  The cerebral cortex is a pair of large folded sheets of brain tissue, one on either side of the top of the head connected by the corpus callosum.  It includes the occipital, parietal, temporal and frontal lobes. 
can integrate the prior reports to predict what will happen next, and respond to anticipated problematic changes in function. 

Damasio uses the discoveries of biology to connect cultures is how we do and think about things, transmitted by non-genetic means as defined by Frans de Waal.  CAS theory views cultures as operating via memetic schemata evolved by memetic operators to support a cultural superorganism.  Evolutionary psychology asserts that human culture reflects adaptations generated while hunting and gathering.  Dehaene views culture as essentially human, shaped by exaptations and reading, transmitted with support of the neuronal workspace and stabilized by neuronal recycling.  Damasio notes prokaryotes and social insects have developed cultural social behaviors.  Sapolsky argues that parents must show children how to transform their genetically derived capabilities into a culturally effective toolset.  He is interested in the broad differences across cultures of: Life expectancy, GDP, Death in childbirth, Violence, Chronic bullying, Gender equality, Happiness, Response to cheating, Individualist or collectivist, Enforcing honor, Approach to hierarchy; illustrating how different a person's life will be depending on the culture where they are raised.  Culture:
  • Is deployed during pregnancy & childhood, with parental mediation.  Nutrients, immune messages and hormones all affect the prenatal brain.  Hormones: Testosterone with anti-Mullerian hormone masculinizes the brain by entering target cells and after conversion to estrogen binding to intracellular estrogen receptors; have organizational effects producing lifelong changes.  Parenting style typically produces adults who adopt the same approach.  And mothering style can alter gene regulation in the fetus in ways that transfer epigenetically to future generations!  PMS symptoms vary by culture. 
  • Is also significantly transmitted to children by their peers during play.  So parents try to control their children's peer group.  
  • Is transmitted to children by their neighborhoods, tribes, nations etc. 
  • Influences the parenting style that is considered appropriate. 
  • Can transform dominance into honor.  There are ecological correlates of adopting honor cultures.  Parents in honor cultures are typically authoritarian. 
  • Is strongly adapted across a meta-ethnic frontier according to Turchin.  
  • Across Europe was shaped by the Carolingian empire. 
  • Can provide varying levels of support for innovation.  Damasio suggests culture is influenced by feelings: 
    • As motives for intellectual creation: prompting detection and diagnosis of homeostatic deficiencies, identifying desirable states worthy of creative effort.
    • As monitors of the success and failure of cultural instruments and practices
    • As participants in the negotiation of adjustments required by the cultural process over time 
  • Produces consciousness according to Dennet. 
to life processes: pain emerged as a mental experience, Damasio asserts, constructed by the mind using mapping structures and events provided by nervous systems.  But feeling pain is supported by older biological functions that support homeostasis.  These capabilities reflect the organism's underlying emotive processes that respond to wounds: antibacterial and analgesic chemical deployment, flinching and evading actions; that occur in organisms without nervous systems.  Later in evolution, after organisms with nervous systems were able to map non-neural events, the components of this complex response were 'imageable'.  Today, a wound induced by an internal disease is reported by old, unmyelinated C nerve fibers.  A wound created by an external cut is signalled by evolutionarily recent myelinated fibers that result in a sharp well-localized report, that initially flows to the dorsal root ganglia, then to the spinal cord, where the signals are mixed within the dorsal and ventral horns, and then are transmitted to the brain stem nuclei, thalamus and cerebral cortex.  The pain of a cut is located, but it is also felt through an emotive response that stops us in our tracks.  Pain amplifies the aggression response of people by interoceptive signalling of brain regions providing social emotions including the PAG projecting to the amygdala; making aggressive people more so and less aggressive people less so.  Pain is the main reason people visit the ED in the US.  Pain is mediated by the thalamus and nucleus accumbens, unless undermined by sleep deprivation. 
, suffering, death, wellbeing indicates the state of an organism is within homeostatic balance.  It is described by Angus Deaton as all the things that are good for a person:
  • Material wellbeing includes income and wealth and its measures: GDP, personal income and consumption.  It can be traded for goods and services which recapture time.  Material wellbeing depends on investments in:
    • Infrastructure
      • Physical
      • Property rights, contracts and dispute resolution
    • People and their education
    • Capturing of basic knowledge via science.  
    • Engineering to turn science into goods and services and then continuously improve them. 
  • Physical and psychological wellbeing are represented by health and happiness; and education and the ability to participate in civil society through democracy and the rule of law.  Life expectancy as a measure of population health, highly weights reductions in child mortality. 
, and flourishing.  He presents his 'strange order' of emergence of human abilities and faculties:
For humans, feelings of pain emerged as a mental experience, Damasio asserts, constructed by the mind using mapping structures and events provided by nervous systems.  But feeling pain is supported by older biological functions that support homeostasis.  These capabilities reflect the organism's underlying emotive processes that respond to wounds: antibacterial and analgesic chemical deployment, flinching and evading actions; that occur in organisms without nervous systems.  Later in evolution, after organisms with nervous systems were able to map non-neural events, the components of this complex response were 'imageable'.  Today, a wound induced by an internal disease is reported by old, unmyelinated C nerve fibers.  A wound created by an external cut is signalled by evolutionarily recent myelinated fibers that result in a sharp well-localized report, that initially flows to the dorsal root ganglia, then to the spinal cord, where the signals are mixed within the dorsal and ventral horns, and then are transmitted to the brain stem nuclei, thalamus and cerebral cortex.  The pain of a cut is located, but it is also felt through an emotive response that stops us in our tracks.  Pain amplifies the aggression response of people by interoceptive signalling of brain regions providing social emotions including the PAG projecting to the amygdala; making aggressive people more so and less aggressive people less so.  Pain is the main reason people visit the ED in the US.  Pain is mediated by the thalamus and nucleus accumbens, unless undermined by sleep deprivation. 
or pleasure is the outcome of the dopamine reward system, argues UCSF professor Robert Lustig.  He, like the early Christians, contrasts [addiction oriented] pleasure with serotonin driven happiness & contentment. 
would catalyze, an infrastructure amplifier.   questioning, understanding and problem solving, that generate solutions to their everyday dilemmas.  Damasio stresses that the development of culture happened while they were hunting and gathering, long before humans adopted agriculture.  He sees intellect & language needing support from sociality and the salience, Douglas Hofstadter controlled the amount of attention a Workspace object in Copycat would receive from codelets via its salience.  The more descriptions, analogous to geons, an object has and the more highly activated the nodes involved therin, the more important the object is.  Modulating this tendency is any relative lack of connections from the object to the rest of the objects in the Workspace.  Salience is a dynamic number that takes into account both these factors.  In Smiley the instantaneous salience of a Workspace's objects is calculated by itsalience.   and guidance of feelings to enable culture. 

Damasio hopes that cultural homeostasis can eventually evolve to constrain the suffering and destruction seen throughout human history. 

In a Region of Unlikeness
Damasio explores the origin of life, including the difficulty of its initiation.  And includes the chicken and egg puzzle of replicator is Richard Dawkin's name for the genotype since it has the evolutionary goal of surviving long enough to reproduce its schematic plan effectively.  The action of genetic operators means that the results of successful reproduction may be different to the parental genotypes and phenotypes (Dawkin's vehicle). 
or metabolism first? Damasio prefers metabolism first, leveraging Stuart Kauffman's self-copying molecules.  Homeostasis is, according to Damasio, the fundamental set of operations at the core of life, from the earliest and long-vanished point of its beginning in early biochemistry to the present.  It is the powerful, unthought, unspoken imperative, whose discharge implies, for every living organism, small or large, nothing less than enduring and prevailing.  Damasio stresses that the operations that ensure prevailing ensure life is regulated within a range that is not just compatible with survival but also conducive to flourishing, to protection of life into the future of an organism or a species.  Prevailing implies mechanisms for monitoring and modeling the state of the organism, controlling and constraining the flows of energy and resources through schematic agency, and to facilitate exploring the environment and acting on signals of modeled opportunities and threats.  Global homeostasis of multi-organ animals requires endocrine, immune, circulatory and nervous 'systems' and results in the emergence of minds, feelings, consciousness, machinery of affect and complex movements.  The emergence of feelings allowed the homeostatic process to become enhanced by a subjective representation of the organism's state and proximate environment within the mind.  Feelings operating in minds allowed conscious decisions to extend homeostasis to the sociocultural domain. 
, manifested as: metabolic machinery, regulatory machinery, replication machinery; tells the cell to operate as perfectly as possible, so the cell can persist as an autonomous entity are entities which:
  • Are far from equilibrium
  • Consume and save low entropy choosing when to use it
  • Can use accessible low entropy to maintain themselves
.  Damasio notes this is a feat that chemists have not been able to repeat. 

Genes provide the replicator with capabilities for homeostatic enduring.  Still, Damasio is not sure where exactly to position genes in the 'order of things.' 

Varieties of homeostasis
Damasio develops a
This page introduces the complex adaptive system (CAS) theory frame.  The theory is positioned relative to the natural sciences.  It catalogs the laws and strategies which underpin the operation of systems that are based on the interaction of emergent agents. 
John Holland's framework for representing complexity is outlined.  Links to other key aspects of CAS theory discussed at the site are presented. 
CAS
compatible representation of homeostasis is, according to Damasio, the fundamental set of operations at the core of life, from the earliest and long-vanished point of its beginning in early biochemistry to the present.  It is the powerful, unthought, unspoken imperative, whose discharge implies, for every living organism, small or large, nothing less than enduring and prevailing.  Damasio stresses that the operations that ensure prevailing ensure life is regulated within a range that is not just compatible with survival but also conducive to flourishing, to protection of life into the future of an organism or a species.  Prevailing implies mechanisms for monitoring and modeling the state of the organism, controlling and constraining the flows of energy and resources through schematic agency, and to facilitate exploring the environment and acting on signals of modeled opportunities and threats.  Global homeostasis of multi-organ animals requires endocrine, immune, circulatory and nervous 'systems' and results in the emergence of minds, feelings, consciousness, machinery of affect and complex movements.  The emergence of feelings allowed the homeostatic process to become enhanced by a subjective representation of the organism's state and proximate environment within the mind.  Feelings operating in minds allowed conscious decisions to extend homeostasis to the sociocultural domain. 
which reflects the self-organization of homeodynamics and development of symbiotic is a long term situation between two, or more, different agents where the resources of both are shared for mutual benefit.  Some of the relationships have built remarkable dependencies: Tremblaya's partnership with citrus mealybugs and bacterial DNA residing in the mealybug's genome, Aphids with species of secondary symbiont bacteria deployed sexually from a male aphid sperm reservoir and propagated asexually by female aphids only while their local diet induces a dependency.  If the power relations and opportunities change for the participants then they will adapt and the situation may transform into separation, predation or parasitism. 
relationships, but he notes the traditional definition of homeostasis is more limited.  It only concerns internal operations and utilizes set points. 

From Single Cells to Nervous Systems and Minds

Ever Since Bacterial Life
Damasio examines where prokaryotes, a single cell system with two main types: (1) Archaea, and (2) Eubacteria.  Prokaryotes have their own DNA and infrastructure within a single enclosure.  They are biochemically very versatile: Photosynthesis -> Electron transport & phosphorylation, Enzymatic regulation and catalysis of chemical reactions, Catabolize -> phosphate bond energy, ATP cycle, glycolysis, TCA cycle, Electron transports, oxidative phosphorylation, oxidation of fatty acids, oxidative degradation of amino acids; Biosynthesis & utilization of phosphate bond energy -> carbohydrates, lipids, amino acids, nucleotides, muscle & motile structures; membrane barriers & active transports, hormones; Replication, Transcription, Translation, Regulation of gene expression; self-assembly; They utilize cell membrane receptors and signalling to support symbiotic cooperation with other cellular entities, including: in the microbiome, and as chloroplasts and mitochondria within eukaryotic cells. 
fit in the order of things:
Nervous Systems
Damasio notes that nervous systems first evolved during the Precambrian period, and that means multi-cellular life had managed without them for 3 billion years. 
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
Evolution
found the neuron, specialized eukaryotic cells include channels which control flows of sodium and potassium ions across the massively extended cell membrane supporting an electro-chemical wave which is then converted into an outgoing chemical signal transmission from synapses which target nearby neuron or muscle cell receptors.  Neurons are supported by glial cells.  Neurons include a:
  • Receptive element - dendrites
  • Transmitting element - axon and synaptic terminals.  The axon may be myelinated, focusing the signals through synaptic transmission, or unmyelinated - where crosstalk is leveraged. 
  • Highly variable DNA schema using transposons. 
's long axons allowed great interoceptive indicate the body's internal homeostatic state: Pain, Fatigue; seconds to minutes before.  The signals are conveyed to the CNS via unmyelinated C fibers or lightly myelinated A delta fibers.  Damasio suggests this is key to the fabrication of feelings, allowing interaction with the surrounding chemical environment and cross talk between axons.  These signals operate unconsciously unless mapped by feelings into consciousness.  The interoceptive 'networks': default mode network; project to brain regions that implement social emotions. 
sensing of the internal state of all parts, mostly viscera, of a multi-cellular
This page introduces the complex adaptive system (CAS) theory frame.  The theory is positioned relative to the natural sciences.  It catalogs the laws and strategies which underpin the operation of systems that are based on the interaction of emergent agents. 
John Holland's framework for representing complexity is outlined.  Links to other key aspects of CAS theory discussed at the site are presented. 
CAS
This page reviews the implications of reproduction initially generating a single child cell.  The mechanism and resulting strategic options are discussed. 
organism
.  And return paths ensure that signals, is an emergent capability which is used by cooperating agents to support coordination & rival agents to support control and dominance.  In eukaryotic cells signalling is used extensively.  A signal interacts with the exposed region of a receptor molecule inducing it to change shape to an activated form.  Chains of enzymes interact with the activated receptor relaying, amplifying and responding to the signal to change the state of the cell.  Many of the signalling pathways pass through the nuclear membrane and interact with the DNA to change its state.  Enzymes sensitive to the changes induced in the DNA then start to operate generating actions including sending further signals.  Cell signalling is reviewed by Helmreich.  Signalling is a fundamental aspect of CAS theory and is discussed from the abstract CAS perspective in signals and sensors.  In AWF the eukaryotic signalling architecture has been abstracted in a codelet based implementation.  To be credible signals must be hard to fake.  To be effective they must be easily detected by the target recipient.  To be efficient they are low cost to produce and destroy. 
can be distributed to the CAS, coordinating state and initiating
Plans are interpreted and implemented by agents.  This page discusses the properties of agents in a complex adaptive system (CAS). 
It then presents examples of agents in different CAS.  The examples include a computer program where modeling and actions are performed by software agents.  These software agents are aggregates. 
The participation of agents in flows is introduced and some implications of this are outlined. 
action


Damasio stresses:
He asserts that to understand how consciousness is constructed it is necessary to understand the relationship between the brain and the rest of the body. In particular:
  1. The
    This page discusses the mechanisms and effects of emergence underpinning any complex adaptive system (CAS).  Physical forces and constraints follow the rules of complexity.  They generate phenomena and support the indirect emergence of epiphenomena.  Flows of epiphenomena interact in events which support the emergence of equilibrium and autonomous entities.  Autonomous entities enable evolution to operate broadening the adjacent possible.  Key research is reviewed. 
    emergence
    of nervous systems was indispensible in enabling elaborate multicellular organisms, and both are dependent on the same homeostatic process. 
  2. The nervous system is a privileged part of the organism it serves.  Its interactions with the rest of the body are totally different to its interactions with the proximate environment. 
  3. The emergence of nervous systems enabled neurally mediated homeostasis, additionally to the chemical and visceral mechanisms.  After the addition of conscious minds sensing feelings and with creative intelligence, cultural responses developed based on homeostatic constraints.  Eventually these cultural mechanisms became more autonomous but still have vestiges of life-related processes found in prokaryotes, a single cell system with two main types: (1) Archaea, and (2) Eubacteria.  Prokaryotes have their own DNA and infrastructure within a single enclosure.  They are biochemically very versatile: Photosynthesis -> Electron transport & phosphorylation, Enzymatic regulation and catalysis of chemical reactions, Catabolize -> phosphate bond energy, ATP cycle, glycolysis, TCA cycle, Electron transports, oxidative phosphorylation, oxidation of fatty acids, oxidative degradation of amino acids; Biosynthesis & utilization of phosphate bond energy -> carbohydrates, lipids, amino acids, nucleotides, muscle & motile structures; membrane barriers & active transports, hormones; Replication, Transcription, Translation, Regulation of gene expression; self-assembly; They utilize cell membrane receptors and signalling to support symbiotic cooperation with other cellular entities, including: in the microbiome, and as chloroplasts and mitochondria within eukaryotic cells. 
    .  
  4. Several complex functions are rooted in simple operations of lower level devices.  Feeling and consciousness operating within the cerebral cortex are rooted in operations of brain-stem nuclei and the peripheral nervous system, which provide better access to the precursors of these capabilities. 
Damasio concludes organisms are CAS built from lower level cooperating agents: cells and chemicals; which ensure homeostasis and contribute to the complexity of features of minds, brains and bodies.  And they participate in emergent superorganisms supporting cultures is how we do and think about things, transmitted by non-genetic means as defined by Frans de Waal.  CAS theory views cultures as operating via memetic schemata evolved by memetic operators to support a cultural superorganism.  Evolutionary psychology asserts that human culture reflects adaptations generated while hunting and gathering.  Dehaene views culture as essentially human, shaped by exaptations and reading, transmitted with support of the neuronal workspace and stabilized by neuronal recycling.  Damasio notes prokaryotes and social insects have developed cultural social behaviors.  Sapolsky argues that parents must show children how to transform their genetically derived capabilities into a culturally effective toolset.  He is interested in the broad differences across cultures of: Life expectancy, GDP, Death in childbirth, Violence, Chronic bullying, Gender equality, Happiness, Response to cheating, Individualist or collectivist, Enforcing honor, Approach to hierarchy; illustrating how different a person's life will be depending on the culture where they are raised.  Culture:
  • Is deployed during pregnancy & childhood, with parental mediation.  Nutrients, immune messages and hormones all affect the prenatal brain.  Hormones: Testosterone with anti-Mullerian hormone masculinizes the brain by entering target cells and after conversion to estrogen binding to intracellular estrogen receptors; have organizational effects producing lifelong changes.  Parenting style typically produces adults who adopt the same approach.  And mothering style can alter gene regulation in the fetus in ways that transfer epigenetically to future generations!  PMS symptoms vary by culture. 
  • Is also significantly transmitted to children by their peers during play.  So parents try to control their children's peer group.  
  • Is transmitted to children by their neighborhoods, tribes, nations etc. 
  • Influences the parenting style that is considered appropriate. 
  • Can transform dominance into honor.  There are ecological correlates of adopting honor cultures.  Parents in honor cultures are typically authoritarian. 
  • Is strongly adapted across a meta-ethnic frontier according to Turchin.  
  • Across Europe was shaped by the Carolingian empire. 
  • Can provide varying levels of support for innovation.  Damasio suggests culture is influenced by feelings: 
    • As motives for intellectual creation: prompting detection and diagnosis of homeostatic deficiencies, identifying desirable states worthy of creative effort.
    • As monitors of the success and failure of cultural instruments and practices
    • As participants in the negotiation of adjustments required by the cultural process over time 
  • Produces consciousness according to Dennet. 
.  The order of appearance of organs, systems and functions in living organisms is critical to understanding how the functions emerged and operate.  Damasio sees that as especially true of nervous systems, minds and culture. 

Assembling the cultural mind

The Origin of Minds
Damasio sees initial progress with the
Agents use sensors to detect events in their environment.  This page reviews how these events become signals associated with beneficial responses in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  CAS signals emerge from the Darwinian information model.  Signals can indicate decision summaries and level of uncertainty. 
signalling and sensing
of prokaryotes, a single cell system with two main types: (1) Archaea, and (2) Eubacteria.  Prokaryotes have their own DNA and infrastructure within a single enclosure.  They are biochemically very versatile: Photosynthesis -> Electron transport & phosphorylation, Enzymatic regulation and catalysis of chemical reactions, Catabolize -> phosphate bond energy, ATP cycle, glycolysis, TCA cycle, Electron transports, oxidative phosphorylation, oxidation of fatty acids, oxidative degradation of amino acids; Biosynthesis & utilization of phosphate bond energy -> carbohydrates, lipids, amino acids, nucleotides, muscle & motile structures; membrane barriers & active transports, hormones; Replication, Transcription, Translation, Regulation of gene expression; self-assembly; They utilize cell membrane receptors and signalling to support symbiotic cooperation with other cellular entities, including: in the microbiome, and as chloroplasts and mitochondria within eukaryotic cells. 
interacting with one another and their proximate environment.  This was missing
This page discusses the interdependence of perception and representation in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  Hofstadter and Mitchell's research with Copycat is reviewed.  The bridging of a node from a network of 'well known' percepts to a new representational instance is discussed as it occurs in biochemistry, in consciousness and abstractly. 
representations
that resembled the internal & external world.  It does not require the functions of
Computational theory of the mind and evolutionary psychology provide Steven Pinker with a framework on which to develop his psychological arguments about the mind and its relationship to the brain.  Humans captured a cognitive niche by natural selection 'building out' specialized aspects of their bodies and brains resulting in a system of mental organs we call the mind. 

He garnishes and defends the framework with findings from psychology regarding: The visual system - an example of natural selections solutions to the sensory challenges of inverse modeling of our environment; Intensions - where he highlights the challenges of hunter gatherers - making sense of the objects they perceive and predicting what they imply and natural selections powerful solutions; Emotions - which Pinker argues are essential to human prioritizing and decision making; Relationships - natural selection's strategies for coping with the most dangerous competitors, other people.  He helps us understand marriage, friendships and war. 

These conclusions allow him to understand the development and maintenance of higher callings: Art, Music, Literature, Humor, Religion, & Philosophy; and develop a position on the meaning of life. 

Complex adaptive system (CAS) modeling allows RSS to frame Pinker's arguments within humanity's current situation, induced by powerful evolved amplifiers: Globalization, Cliodynamics, The green revolution and resource bottlenecks; melding his powerful predictions of the drivers of human behavior with system wide constraints.  The implications are discussed. 

minds
.  But such signalling, is an emergent capability which is used by cooperating agents to support coordination & rival agents to support control and dominance.  In eukaryotic cells signalling is used extensively.  A signal interacts with the exposed region of a receptor molecule inducing it to change shape to an activated form.  Chains of enzymes interact with the activated receptor relaying, amplifying and responding to the signal to change the state of the cell.  Many of the signalling pathways pass through the nuclear membrane and interact with the DNA to change its state.  Enzymes sensitive to the changes induced in the DNA then start to operate generating actions including sending further signals.  Cell signalling is reviewed by Helmreich.  Signalling is a fundamental aspect of CAS theory and is discussed from the abstract CAS perspective in signals and sensors.  In AWF the eukaryotic signalling architecture has been abstracted in a codelet based implementation.  To be credible signals must be hard to fake.  To be effective they must be easily detected by the target recipient.  To be efficient they are low cost to produce and destroy. 
and sensing is still present in our brains and bodies. 

Organisms with many cells could perform finer movements, and had the potential to benefit from specialized organs.  Whole-body systems were refined and new ones
This page discusses the mechanisms and effects of emergence underpinning any complex adaptive system (CAS).  Physical forces and constraints follow the rules of complexity.  They generate phenomena and support the indirect emergence of epiphenomena.  Flows of epiphenomena interact in events which support the emergence of equilibrium and autonomous entities.  Autonomous entities enable evolution to operate broadening the adjacent possible.  Key research is reviewed. 
emerged
.  Instead of single organs: guts, hearts, lungs; general systems provided the functions, and had to support the needs of all the body's cells.  That demanded: circulation of fluids, generation of movement, and global coordination with: endocrine, immune has to support and protect an inventory of host cell types, detect and respond to invaders and maintain the symbiont equilibrium within the microbiome.  It detects microbes which have breached the secreted mucus barrier, driving them back and fortifying the barrier.  It culls species within the microbiome that are expanding beyond requirements.  It destroys invaders who make it into the internal transport networks.  As part of its initialization it has immune cells which suppress the main system to allow the microbiome to bootstrap.  The initial microbiome is tailored by the antibodies supplied from the mother's milk while breastfeeding.  The immune system consists of two main parts the older non-adaptive part and the newer adaptive part.  The adaptive part achieves this property by being schematically specified by DNA which is highly variable.  By rapid reproduction the system recombines the DNA variable regions in vast numbers of offspring cells which once they have been shown not to attack the host cell lines are used as templates for interacting with any foreign body (antigen).  When the immune cell's DNA hyper-variable regions are expressed as y-shaped antibody proteins they typically include some receptor like structures which match the surfaces of the typical antigen.  Once the antibody becomes bound to the antigen the immune system cells can destroy the invader. 
functions, and nervous systems;

Eventually, over a few billion years, complicated organisms emerged, supported by nervous systems capable of sensing different parts of the environment and responding with appropriate movements.  Much later Damasio sees nervous systems developing mapping capabilities that form the basis of integration aggregates is when a number of actions become coordinated and operate together.  In the adaptive web framework's Smiley, codelets become coordinated by their relative position in the deployment cascade.  The cascade's dynamics are dependent on the situation, the operating codelets responses to that situation and the grouping of schematic strings they are associated with.  The aggregate effect is a phenotype the adaptive agent. 
, Damasio calls them images, that are the constituents of minds, and Damasio sees as required for Human cultures is how we do and think about things, transmitted by non-genetic means as defined by Frans de Waal.  CAS theory views cultures as operating via memetic schemata evolved by memetic operators to support a cultural superorganism.  Evolutionary psychology asserts that human culture reflects adaptations generated while hunting and gathering.  Dehaene views culture as essentially human, shaped by exaptations and reading, transmitted with support of the neuronal workspace and stabilized by neuronal recycling.  Damasio notes prokaryotes and social insects have developed cultural social behaviors.  Sapolsky argues that parents must show children how to transform their genetically derived capabilities into a culturally effective toolset.  He is interested in the broad differences across cultures of: Life expectancy, GDP, Death in childbirth, Violence, Chronic bullying, Gender equality, Happiness, Response to cheating, Individualist or collectivist, Enforcing honor, Approach to hierarchy; illustrating how different a person's life will be depending on the culture where they are raised.  Culture:
  • Is deployed during pregnancy & childhood, with parental mediation.  Nutrients, immune messages and hormones all affect the prenatal brain.  Hormones: Testosterone with anti-Mullerian hormone masculinizes the brain by entering target cells and after conversion to estrogen binding to intracellular estrogen receptors; have organizational effects producing lifelong changes.  Parenting style typically produces adults who adopt the same approach.  And mothering style can alter gene regulation in the fetus in ways that transfer epigenetically to future generations!  PMS symptoms vary by culture. 
  • Is also significantly transmitted to children by their peers during play.  So parents try to control their children's peer group.  
  • Is transmitted to children by their neighborhoods, tribes, nations etc. 
  • Influences the parenting style that is considered appropriate. 
  • Can transform dominance into honor.  There are ecological correlates of adopting honor cultures.  Parents in honor cultures are typically authoritarian. 
  • Is strongly adapted across a meta-ethnic frontier according to Turchin.  
  • Across Europe was shaped by the Carolingian empire. 
  • Can provide varying levels of support for innovation.  Damasio suggests culture is influenced by feelings: 
    • As motives for intellectual creation: prompting detection and diagnosis of homeostatic deficiencies, identifying desirable states worthy of creative effort.
    • As monitors of the success and failure of cultural instruments and practices
    • As participants in the negotiation of adjustments required by the cultural process over time 
  • Produces consciousness according to Dennet. 
to
This page discusses the mechanisms and effects of emergence underpinning any complex adaptive system (CAS).  Physical forces and constraints follow the rules of complexity.  They generate phenomena and support the indirect emergence of epiphenomena.  Flows of epiphenomena interact in events which support the emergence of equilibrium and autonomous entities.  Autonomous entities enable evolution to operate broadening the adjacent possible.  Key research is reviewed. 
emerge
.  Such aggregates allow organisms to internally represent the world around them and inside them.  And these aggregates depend on nervous systems that sense their rich surround: external and internal to the organism; resulting in the emergence of minds.  Damasio sees a three step progression:
  1. 'Images' made of the oldest components of the organism's interior: metabolic chemistry in the viscera, blood, and movements generated; fashioned feelings are subjective models: sad, glad, mad, scared, surprised, and compassionate; of the organism and its proximate environment, including ratings of situations signalled by broadly distributed chemicals and neural circuits.  These feelings become highly salient inputs, evolutionarily associated, to higher level emotions encoded in neural circuits: amygdala, and insula.  Deacon shows James' conception of feeling can build sentience.  Damasio, similarly, asserts feelings reveal to the conscious mind the subjective status of life: good, bad, in between; within a higher organism.  They especially indicate the affective situation within the old interior world of the viscera located in the abdomen, thorax and thick of the skin - so smiling makes one feel happy; but augmented with the reports from the situation of the new interior world of voluntary muscles.  Repeated experiences build intermediate narratives, in the mind, which reduce the salience.  Damasio concludes feelings relate closely and consistently with homeostasis, acting as its mental deputies once organisms developed 'nervous systems' about 600 million years ago, and building on the precursor regulatory devices supplied by evolution to social insects and prokaryotes and leveraging analogous dynamic constraints.  Damasio suggests feelings contribute to the development of culture:
    • As motives for intellectual creation: prompting detection and diagnosis of homeostatic deficiencies, identifying desirable states worthy of creative effort.
    • As monitors of the success and failure of cultural instruments and practices
    • As participants in the negotiation of adjustments required by the cultural process over time 

  2. 'Images' from the newer skeletal frame and musculature, built a representation of the encasement.  The combination of these two enabled consciousness
  3. 'Image' making devices and their power to symbolize enabled the emergence of spoken languages. 
Such 'images' appear present in insects, most vertebrates, birds and mammals. 

Sensory probes on the surface of the organism collect information about the physical world.  The signals are then integrated and mapped into a whole object is a collection of: happenings, occurrences and processes; including emergent entities, as required by relativity, explains Rovelli.  But natural selection has improved our fitness by representing this perception, in our minds, as an unchanging thing, as explained by Pinker.  Dehaene explains the object modeling and construction process within the unconscious and conscious brain. 
representation.  Damasio concedes it is a limited description, but each member of a species sees a similar reality

Internally, Damasio asserts, there are two worlds that are represented in humans: the old visceral internal world that is concerned with basic homeostasis is, according to Damasio, the fundamental set of operations at the core of life, from the earliest and long-vanished point of its beginning in early biochemistry to the present.  It is the powerful, unthought, unspoken imperative, whose discharge implies, for every living organism, small or large, nothing less than enduring and prevailing.  Damasio stresses that the operations that ensure prevailing ensure life is regulated within a range that is not just compatible with survival but also conducive to flourishing, to protection of life into the future of an organism or a species.  Prevailing implies mechanisms for monitoring and modeling the state of the organism, controlling and constraining the flows of energy and resources through schematic agency, and to facilitate exploring the environment and acting on signals of modeled opportunities and threats.  Global homeostasis of multi-organ animals requires endocrine, immune, circulatory and nervous 'systems' and results in the emergence of minds, feelings, consciousness, machinery of affect and complex movements.  The emergence of feelings allowed the homeostatic process to become enhanced by a subjective representation of the organism's state and proximate environment within the mind.  Feelings operating in minds allowed conscious decisions to extend homeostasis to the sociocultural domain. 
,
The agents in complex adaptive systems (CAS) must model their environment to respond effectively to it.  Samuel modeling is described as an approach. 
modeled
without any picture as: well-being indicates the state of an organism is within homeostatic balance.  It is described by Angus Deaton as all the things that are good for a person:
  • Material wellbeing includes income and wealth and its measures: GDP, personal income and consumption.  It can be traded for goods and services which recapture time.  Material wellbeing depends on investments in:
    • Infrastructure
      • Physical
      • Property rights, contracts and dispute resolution
    • People and their education
    • Capturing of basic knowledge via science.  
    • Engineering to turn science into goods and services and then continuously improve them. 
  • Physical and psychological wellbeing are represented by health and happiness; and education and the ability to participate in civil society through democracy and the rule of law.  Life expectancy as a measure of population health, highly weights reductions in child mortality. 
, fatigue, malaise, pain emerged as a mental experience, Damasio asserts, constructed by the mind using mapping structures and events provided by nervous systems.  But feeling pain is supported by older biological functions that support homeostasis.  These capabilities reflect the organism's underlying emotive processes that respond to wounds: antibacterial and analgesic chemical deployment, flinching and evading actions; that occur in organisms without nervous systems.  Later in evolution, after organisms with nervous systems were able to map non-neural events, the components of this complex response were 'imageable'.  Today, a wound induced by an internal disease is reported by old, unmyelinated C nerve fibers.  A wound created by an external cut is signalled by evolutionarily recent myelinated fibers that result in a sharp well-localized report, that initially flows to the dorsal root ganglia, then to the spinal cord, where the signals are mixed within the dorsal and ventral horns, and then are transmitted to the brain stem nuclei, thalamus and cerebral cortex.  The pain of a cut is located, but it is also felt through an emotive response that stops us in our tracks.  Pain amplifies the aggression response of people by interoceptive signalling of brain regions providing social emotions including the PAG projecting to the amygdala; making aggressive people more so and less aggressive people less so.  Pain is the main reason people visit the ED in the US.  Pain is mediated by the thalamus and nucleus accumbens, unless undermined by sleep deprivation. 
, pleasure is the outcome of the dopamine reward system, argues UCSF professor Robert Lustig.  He, like the early Christians, contrasts [addiction oriented] pleasure with serotonin driven happiness & contentment. 
, palpitations, heartburn, colic; components of feelings, and the newer skeletal-musculature world which is used for movement.  The body frame is then completed by draping the old visceral skin over the musculature.  It is the body frame where sensory portals are placed: eye sockets, ears, nose and olfactory mucosa, taste buds in the tongue, skin; portals which generate the perspective that with coordination provides assistance to the primary sensory process. 

Image maps of the external world depend on the sensory portals of the newer internal world.  That allows the
Computational theory of the mind and evolutionary psychology provide Steven Pinker with a framework on which to develop his psychological arguments about the mind and its relationship to the brain.  Humans captured a cognitive niche by natural selection 'building out' specialized aspects of their bodies and brains resulting in a system of mental organs we call the mind. 

He garnishes and defends the framework with findings from psychology regarding: The visual system - an example of natural selections solutions to the sensory challenges of inverse modeling of our environment; Intensions - where he highlights the challenges of hunter gatherers - making sense of the objects they perceive and predicting what they imply and natural selections powerful solutions; Emotions - which Pinker argues are essential to human prioritizing and decision making; Relationships - natural selection's strategies for coping with the most dangerous competitors, other people.  He helps us understand marriage, friendships and war. 

These conclusions allow him to understand the development and maintenance of higher callings: Art, Music, Literature, Humor, Religion, & Philosophy; and develop a position on the meaning of life. 

Complex adaptive system (CAS) modeling allows RSS to frame Pinker's arguments within humanity's current situation, induced by powerful evolved amplifiers: Globalization, Cliodynamics, The green revolution and resource bottlenecks; melding his powerful predictions of the drivers of human behavior with system wide constraints.  The implications are discussed. 

mind
to locate in the
This page reviews the implications of reproduction initially generating a single child cell.  The mechanism and resulting strategic options are discussed. 
organism
the sources, supporting construction of an overall organism image, needed for generation of subjectivity

Expanding minds
Damasio describes the
Computational theory of the mind and evolutionary psychology provide Steven Pinker with a framework on which to develop his psychological arguments about the mind and its relationship to the brain.  Humans captured a cognitive niche by natural selection 'building out' specialized aspects of their bodies and brains resulting in a system of mental organs we call the mind. 

He garnishes and defends the framework with findings from psychology regarding: The visual system - an example of natural selections solutions to the sensory challenges of inverse modeling of our environment; Intensions - where he highlights the challenges of hunter gatherers - making sense of the objects they perceive and predicting what they imply and natural selections powerful solutions; Emotions - which Pinker argues are essential to human prioritizing and decision making; Relationships - natural selection's strategies for coping with the most dangerous competitors, other people.  He helps us understand marriage, friendships and war. 

These conclusions allow him to understand the development and maintenance of higher callings: Art, Music, Literature, Humor, Religion, & Philosophy; and develop a position on the meaning of life. 

Complex adaptive system (CAS) modeling allows RSS to frame Pinker's arguments within humanity's current situation, induced by powerful evolved amplifiers: Globalization, Cliodynamics, The green revolution and resource bottlenecks; melding his powerful predictions of the drivers of human behavior with system wide constraints.  The implications are discussed. 

mind
as an orchestra of:
He sees the objects and events as distinct entities are, according to Abbott, a class including people, families, corporations, hurricanes.  They implement abstract designs and are demarcatable by their reduced entropy relative to their components.  Rovelli notes entities are a collection of relations and events, but memory and our continuous process of anticipation, organizes the series of quantized interactions we perceive into an illusion of permanent objects flowing from past to future.  Abbott identifies two types of entity:
  1. At equilibrium entities,
  2. Autonomous entities, which can control how they are affected by outside forces;
in the organism's mind which can "affect" the state of neural structures.  The three different types of sensory signals shape the 'images' that are constructed, integrating: feelings are subjective models: sad, glad, mad, scared, surprised, and compassionate; of the organism and its proximate environment, including ratings of situations signalled by broadly distributed chemicals and neural circuits.  These feelings become highly salient inputs, evolutionarily associated, to higher level emotions encoded in neural circuits: amygdala, and insula.  Deacon shows James' conception of feeling can build sentience.  Damasio, similarly, asserts feelings reveal to the conscious mind the subjective status of life: good, bad, in between; within a higher organism.  They especially indicate the affective situation within the old interior world of the viscera located in the abdomen, thorax and thick of the skin - so smiling makes one feel happy; but augmented with the reports from the situation of the new interior world of voluntary muscles.  Repeated experiences build intermediate narratives, in the mind, which reduce the salience.  Damasio concludes feelings relate closely and consistently with homeostasis, acting as its mental deputies once organisms developed 'nervous systems' about 600 million years ago, and building on the precursor regulatory devices supplied by evolution to social insects and prokaryotes and leveraging analogous dynamic constraints.  Damasio suggests feelings contribute to the development of culture:
  • As motives for intellectual creation: prompting detection and diagnosis of homeostatic deficiencies, identifying desirable states worthy of creative effort.
  • As monitors of the success and failure of cultural instruments and practices
  • As participants in the negotiation of adjustments required by the cultural process over time 
, body relative position and the entity.  And Damasio notes the signals, is an emergent capability which is used by cooperating agents to support coordination & rival agents to support control and dominance.  In eukaryotic cells signalling is used extensively.  A signal interacts with the exposed region of a receptor molecule inducing it to change shape to an activated form.  Chains of enzymes interact with the activated receptor relaying, amplifying and responding to the signal to change the state of the cell.  Many of the signalling pathways pass through the nuclear membrane and interact with the DNA to change its state.  Enzymes sensitive to the changes induced in the DNA then start to operate generating actions including sending further signals.  Cell signalling is reviewed by Helmreich.  Signalling is a fundamental aspect of CAS theory and is discussed from the abstract CAS perspective in signals and sensors.  In AWF the eukaryotic signalling architecture has been abstracted in a codelet based implementation.  To be credible signals must be hard to fake.  To be effective they must be easily detected by the target recipient.  To be efficient they are low cost to produce and destroy. 
are relayed by very different types of 'wires,' which for the old internal components may be direct flows of chemical signals.  The CNS is the central nervous system
may directly respond to the internal signals generating an interactive complex.  Additionally, the messages are transformed as they flow through the organism. 

The distribution of maps and 'images' varies over the nervous system.  For the interior worlds, 'images' are integrated in brain stem includes: medulla, raphe, pons, substantia nigra, ventral tegmental area, pituitary, superior colliculi, cerebellum, thalamus (LGN), basal ganglia including caudate nucleus and striatum; amygdala, hypothalamus, nucleus accumbens; nuclei, and re-represented and expanded in regions of the cerebral cortex includes the paleocortex a thin sheet of cells that mostly process smell, archicortex and the neocortex.  The cerebral cortex is a pair of large folded sheets of brain tissue, one on either side of the top of the head connected by the corpus callosum.  It includes the occipital, parietal, temporal and frontal lobes. 
: insula is part of the cerebral cortex folded deep within the lateral sulcus.  It includes: anterior, posterior insula; and is overlaid by the operculum.  Kandel notes the anterior insula is where feelings are calibrated by evaluating and integrating the importance of the stimuli.  It directly signals area 25.  LeDoux showed there are two routes for signals of feelings and emotions to the amygdala: a fast unconscious one and a slow one that involves the anterior insula.  So the insula is assumed to participate in consciousness where it has been linked to emotion, salience & body homeostasis functions:
  • Perception,
  • Motor control: Hand-&-eye motor movement, Swallowing, Gastric motility, Speech articulation;
  • Self-awareness,
  • Inter-personal experiences: Disgust at smells, contamination & mutilation which generate visceral responses, that are projected to the amygdala; binding physical and moral aspects of purity (Macbeth effect)
  • Homeostatic regulation of the sympathetic network, parasympathetic network, and immune system.  Heart rate and sweat gland activity are monitored.  
, and cingulate is the cingulate gyrus, a rich club hub.  Contains many sub-parts:
  • The anterior cingulate cortex ACC:
    • Includes the subgenual ACC and the paragenual ACC, and Brodmann areas 24, 25, 32 and 33. 
    • The gyrus of the ACC has two functional components, which both operate abnormally in mood disorders: depression, anxiety & bipolar.  The
      • Rostral/ventral part is involved in emotional processes and autonomic functions.  It connects to the hippocampus, amygdala, orbital prefrontal cortex, anterior insula, nucleus accumbens.  It is overactive during regular or bipolar depression. 
      • Caudal part is involved in cognition and the control of behavior.  It connects with the dorsal PFC, secondary motor cortex, and posterior cingulate cortex
    • Is a central focus of empathy supporting people relating to other's pain.  This is dependent on oxytocin. 
    • In non-human mammals it processes interoceptive signals.  The ACC focuses the internal signals into high level 'gut intuitions.'  Pain catches the ACC's attention. 
    • Performs discrepancy detection from the outcome that was predicted - at a high level.  The ACC cares about the meaning of what is predicted. 
      • If the ACC has been convinced that a pain killer placebo has inhibited pain signals, the ACC will stay silent about actual pain that is signalled from interoceptive networks.  
      • The ACC will signal: physical pain, emotional pain, metaphorical pain, anxiety, disgust, embarrassment, social exclusion especially in adolescence; as one and the same.  The ACC's abnormalities being associated with major depression. 
    • Has a bridging role between the empathetic and self-interested pain monitor.  Sapolsky notes the ACC is essential for learning fear and conditioned avoidance by observation alone through an intermediate step of shared representation of self.  He concludes "At its core the ACC is about self-interest, with caring about the other person in pain as an add-on." 
  • The midcingulate cortex was formerly judged part of the 'emotional' limbic system in MacLean's discredited triune brain model.  
  • The posterior cingulate cortex
  • The retrosplenial cingulate cortex
.  For the external world, integration occurs in the superior colliculi are a pair of structures at the top of the brain stem that contribute to the visual system.  They are called the optic tecta in lower vertebrates.  In mammals and especially primates much of this visual processing operates in the neocortex.   The superior colliculi in mammals still support eye movement, including involuntary eye movements.  Neurons in the superior colluculus code the location of auditory stimuli in eye-centered reference frame.   and cerebral cortex.  Early sensory cortices process one medium: vision, sound; but later in the flows, association areas build multi-modal representations.  Consciousness typically
Consciousness has confounded philosophers and scientists for centuries.  Now it is finally being characterized scientifically.  That required a transformation of approach. 
Realizing that consciousness was ill-defined neuroscientist Stanislas Dehaene and others characterized and focused on conscious access. 
In the book he outlines the limitations of previous psychological dogma.  Instead his use of subjective assessments opened the window to contrast totally unconscious brain activity with those including consciousness. 
He describes the research methods.  He explains the contribution of new sensors and probes that allowed the psychological findings to be correlated, and causally related to specific neural activity. 
He describes the theory of the brain he uses, the 'global neuronal workspace' to position all the experimental details into a whole. 
He reviews how both theory and practice support diagnosis and treatment of real world mental illnesses. 
The implications of Dehaene's findings for subsequent consciousness research are outlined. 
Complex adaptive system (CAS) models of the brain's development and operation introduce constraints which are discussed. 

integrates the final associations
on the fly

For animals with language, objects can be associated with words, allowing symbolic thought to be applied. 

Once 'images' are constructed they can guide further actions directly and automatically, by depicting targets for actions, so the image guided muscular system can reach the target more accurately.  That is a significant survival benefit, enabling: orientation, and precision targeting.  And Damasio notes this automaticity provides an
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
evolutionary
benefit without any dependency on subjectivity, analysis etc. 

Damasio asserts the basic units of minds are 'images.'  And he notes how these 'images' can aggregate is when a number of actions become coordinated and operate together.  In the adaptive web framework's Smiley, codelets become coordinated by their relative position in the deployment cascade.  The cascade's dynamics are dependent on the situation, the operating codelets responses to that situation and the grouping of schematic strings they are associated with.  The aggregate effect is a phenotype the adaptive agent. 
in many forms: multiple sensory perspectives, a string of objects and events related in
Carlo Rovelli resolves the paradox of time. 
Rovelli initially explains that low level physics does not include time:
  • A present that is common throughout the universe does not exist
  • Events are only partially ordered.  The present is localized
  • The difference between past and future is not foundational.  It occurs because of state that through our blurring appears particular to us
  • Time passes at different speeds dependent on where we are and how fast we travel
  • Time's rhythms are due to the gravitational field
  • Our quantized physics shows neither space nor time, just processes transforming physical variables. 
  • Fundamentally there is no time.  The basic equations evolve together with events, not things 
Then he explains how in a physical world without time its perception can emerge:
  • Our familiar time emerges
    • Our interaction with the world is partial, blurred, quantum indeterminate
    • The ignorance determines the existence of thermal time and entropy that quantifies our uncertainty
    • Directionality of time is real but perspectival.  The entropy of the world in relation to us increases with our thermal time.  The growth of entropy distinguishes past from future: resulting in traces and memories
    • Each human is a unified being because: we reflect the world, we formed an image of a unified entity by interacting with our kind, and because of the perspective of memory
    • The variable time: is one of the variables of the gravitational field.  With our scale we don't register quantum fluctuations, making space-time appear determined.  At our speed we don't perceive differences in time of different clocks, so we experience a single time: universal, uniform, ordered; which is helpful to our decisions

time
and space that have meaning as narratives: storytelling, actions, props, villains, heros, dreams, ideals, desires; protagonists doing noble acts.  The brain allows different sensory regions to contribute their details at the right moment, through associative structures that coordinate the timing.  All association cortices must contribute to the time train with timing and dispatch functions.  Damasio notes that one, the default mode network in Buckner's fMRI based analysis, supports using past experiences to plan for the future, navigate social interactions and maximize the utility of moments when attention is not focused on external events.  It includes the: Medial prefrontal cortex, Medial temporal cortex, Posterior cingulate cortex.  It is disrupted in autism, schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease.  It becomes quiet under the influence of psychedelics that bind to the serotonin receptor. 
, has been investigated in detail.  And the
Rather than oppose the direct thrust of some environmental flow agents can improve their effectiveness with indirect responses.  This page explains how agents are architected to do this and discusses some examples of how it can be done. 
indirect
nature of these structures allows novel metaphors to substitute an original image in the aggregation with a different one associated symbolically.  Damasio sees incessant language translation occuring during the image enrichment.  Multi-lingual humans perform multiple parallel translations, he explains.  Memory supports the recording of these timed streams, as long as the associated emotions are significant enough.  Damasio writes that these memories are recorded as temporary modifications occurring in chains of neural circuits, a network of interconnected neurons which perform signalling, modeling and control functions.  In Cajal's basic neural circuits the signalling is unidirectional.  He identified three classes of neurons in the circuits:
  • Sensory, Interneurons, Motor; which are biochemically distinct and suffer different disease states. 
, rather than basic chemical changes.  The memory of of a scene we perceive in visual and auditory terms, is built by converting explicit 'images' into a neural code, which by being processed in reverse, retroactivation is a memory mechanism for recalling complex visual and auditory sequences.  Damasio explains that a neural code is recorded that can be processed in reverse to recall the memory.  The codes represent, indirectly, actual content of 'images' and their sequences, and are stored in both cerebral hemispheres, in association cortices of the occipital, temporal, parietal, and frontal regions.  The regions are interconnected, via two-way hierarchical circuits of neural cables, with the collection of "early sensory cortices" where the explicit aggregate maps were first assembled.  During the process of recall, we end up reconstructing a more or less faithful approximation of the original 'image', using reverse neural pathways which operate from the code-holding regions and produce effects within the explicit image making regions, essentially where the 'images' were first assembled.  Participation of the hippocampus is essential for producing the highest levels of 'image' integration, and conversion of temporary encodings into permanent ones.  Loss of the hippocampus, in Herpes simplex encephalitis and Alzheimer's disease, in both cerebral hemispheres disrupts the formation of and access to long-term memory of integrated scenes.  Unique events are no longer recalled even if objects  and events can still be recognized outside a unique context.  Contextual episodic knowledge is no longer available. 
, will allow complete 'image' recall. 

Damasio explains that 'image' recall allowed organisms to recognize past encounters with objects and events, and improved reasoning capabilities: comparing the current situation with recalled 'images' and reasoning about the future,
E O. Wilson argues that campfire gatherings on the savanna supported the emergence of human creativity.  This resulted in man building cultures and later exploring them, and their creator, through the humanities.  Wilson identifies the transformative events, but he notes many of these are presently ignored by the humanities.  So he calls for a change of approach. 

He:
  • Explores creativity: how it emerged from the benefits of becoming an omnivore hunter gatherer, enabled by language & its catalysis of invention, through stories told in the evening around the campfire. He notes the power of fine art, but suggests music provides the most revealing signature of aesthetic surprise. 
  • Looks at the current limitations of the humanities, as they have suffered through years of neglect.  
  • Reviews the evolutionary processes of heredity and culture:
    • Ultimate causes viewed through art, & music
    • The bedrock of:
      • Ape senses and emotions,
      • Creative arts, language, dance, song typically studied by humanities, & 
      • Exponential change in science and technology.  
    • How the breakthrough from our primate past occurred, powered by eating meat, supporting: a bigger brain, expanded memory & language. 
    • Accelerating changes now driven by genetic cultural coevolution.  
    • The impact on human nature.  
  • Considers our emotional attachment to the natural world: hunting, gardens; we are destroying. 
  • Reviews our love of metaphor, archetypes, exploration, irony, and considers the potential for a third enlightenment, supported by cooperative action of humanities and science

Following our summary of his arguments RSS frames these from the perspective of complex adaptive system (CAS) theory:
  • The humanities are seen to be a functionalist framework for representing the cultural CAS while 
  • Wilson's desire to integrate the humanities and science gains support from viewing the endeavor as a network of layered CAS. 

imagining and creativity
, developing stories.  Brains are built to recollect past and anticipated future memories.  This allows humans to associate meanings to the current situation and to predict future outcomes. 

Affect
Damasio notes that the
This page discusses the mechanisms and effects of emergence underpinning any complex adaptive system (CAS).  Physical forces and constraints follow the rules of complexity.  They generate phenomena and support the indirect emergence of epiphenomena.  Flows of epiphenomena interact in events which support the emergence of equilibrium and autonomous entities.  Autonomous entities enable evolution to operate broadening the adjacent possible.  Key research is reviewed. 
emergent
objects is a collection of: happenings, occurrences and processes; including emergent entities, as required by relativity, explains Rovelli.  But natural selection has improved our fitness by representing this perception, in our minds, as an unchanging thing, as explained by Pinker.  Dehaene explains the object modeling and construction process within the unconscious and conscious brain. 
and events representing the real world in the mind all include subtle aspects of feelings are subjective models: sad, glad, mad, scared, surprised, and compassionate; of the organism and its proximate environment, including ratings of situations signalled by broadly distributed chemicals and neural circuits.  These feelings become highly salient inputs, evolutionarily associated, to higher level emotions encoded in neural circuits: amygdala, and insula.  Deacon shows James' conception of feeling can build sentience.  Damasio, similarly, asserts feelings reveal to the conscious mind the subjective status of life: good, bad, in between; within a higher organism.  They especially indicate the affective situation within the old interior world of the viscera located in the abdomen, thorax and thick of the skin - so smiling makes one feel happy; but augmented with the reports from the situation of the new interior world of voluntary muscles.  Repeated experiences build intermediate narratives, in the mind, which reduce the salience.  Damasio concludes feelings relate closely and consistently with homeostasis, acting as its mental deputies once organisms developed 'nervous systems' about 600 million years ago, and building on the precursor regulatory devices supplied by evolution to social insects and prokaryotes and leveraging analogous dynamic constraints.  Damasio suggests feelings contribute to the development of culture:
  • As motives for intellectual creation: prompting detection and diagnosis of homeostatic deficiencies, identifying desirable states worthy of creative effort.
  • As monitors of the success and failure of cultural instruments and practices
  • As participants in the negotiation of adjustments required by the cultural process over time 
, that ensure the objects and events are affected and qualified.  These consequently ubiquitous and functionally important feelings are caused by:
  1. Homeostatic is, according to Damasio, the fundamental set of operations at the core of life, from the earliest and long-vanished point of its beginning in early biochemistry to the present.  It is the powerful, unthought, unspoken imperative, whose discharge implies, for every living organism, small or large, nothing less than enduring and prevailing.  Damasio stresses that the operations that ensure prevailing ensure life is regulated within a range that is not just compatible with survival but also conducive to flourishing, to protection of life into the future of an organism or a species.  Prevailing implies mechanisms for monitoring and modeling the state of the organism, controlling and constraining the flows of energy and resources through schematic agency, and to facilitate exploring the environment and acting on signals of modeled opportunities and threats.  Global homeostasis of multi-organ animals requires endocrine, immune, circulatory and nervous 'systems' and results in the emergence of minds, feelings, consciousness, machinery of affect and complex movements.  The emergence of feelings allowed the homeostatic process to become enhanced by a subjective representation of the organism's state and proximate environment within the mind.  Feelings operating in minds allowed conscious decisions to extend homeostasis to the sociocultural domain. 
    signals from the background
    Flows of different kinds are essential to the operation of complex adaptive systems (CAS). 
    Example flows are outlined.  Constraints on flows support the emergence of the systems.  Examples of constraints are discussed. 
    flow
    of life processes - inducing spontaneous feelings
  2. Emotive responses is according to Damasio, a process including a collection of actions: release of specific chemicals in sites of the CNS or their transport, by neural signalling to varied regions of the nervous system and body.  Endocrine glands are signalled and produce molecules capable of altering body function; altering viscera, that changes the homeostatic state of the organism, and may change the spontaneous feelings too.  A cascade of spontaneous homeostatic changes: metabolism, nervous system, immune response, mind builds 'images'; becomes an ensemble of actions each represented in the mind, summarized as a provoked feeling.  Attention to the feelings varies depending on the current state of the mind.  Emotive responses are generated non consciously by specific nuclei in the brain:
    • Hypothalamic nuclei
    • PAG
    • Amygdala nuclei and nucleus accumbens; each nuclei activated by particular streams of signals, from the senses or memory, enabling responses to vast numbers of sensations, objects and circumstances with drives, motivations and emotions. 
    : qualia are the direct qualities of percepts according to Haikonen.  He argues they do not require interpretation or any evocation of meaning.  Colors are colors and pain is pain.  The human visual hierarchy seems at odds with this interpretation with meaning being associated with letters by signalling from the letterbox to the frontal lobes and used in the feedback flows that identify and prime morphemes.  Damasio suggests qualia are a type of provoked feeling, triggered by stimuli like taste or vision, which results in an emotive response. 
    ; triggered by tastes, smells, tactile, auditory and visual stimuli - inducing provoked feelings are the subset of feelings that are generated by signals from the brain, after it has modeled the organism's situation, and represented changes by generating 'images.' 

  3. Emotive responses:
    Plans are interpreted and implemented by agents.  This page discusses the properties of agents in a complex adaptive system (CAS). 
    It then presents examples of agents in different CAS.  The examples include a computer program where modeling and actions are performed by software agents.  These software agents are aggregates. 
    The participation of agents in flows is introduced and some implications of this are outlined. 
    action programs
    ; triggered by drives, motivations, or emotions are low level fast unconscious agents distributed across the brain and body which associate, via the amygdala and rich club hubs, important environmental signals with encoded high speed sensors, and distributed programs of action to model: predict, prioritize guidance signals, select and respond effectively, coherently and rapidly to the initial signal.  The majority of emotion centered brain regions interface to the midbrain through the hypothalamus.  The cerebellum and basal ganglia support the integration of emotion and motor functions, rewarding rhythmic movement.  The most accessible signs of emotions are the hard to control and universal facial expressions.  Emotions provide prioritization for conscious access given that an animal has only one body, but possibly many cells, with which to achieve its highest level goals.  Because of this emotions clash with group goals and are disparaged by the powerful.  Evolutionary psychology argues evolution shaped human emotions during the long period of hunter-gatherer existence in the African savanna.  Human emotions are universal and include: Anger, Appreciation of natural beauty, Disgust, Fear, Gratitude, Grief, Guilt, Happiness, Honor, Jealousy, Liking, Love, Rage, Romantic love, Lust for revenge, Passion, Sadness, Self-control, Shame, Sympathy, Surprise; and the sham emotions and distrust induced by reciprocal altruism. 
    - inducing much more intense provoked feelings, major perturbations of
    This page reviews the implications of reproduction initially generating a single child cell.  The mechanism and resulting strategic options are discussed. 
    organism
    function, with the same names as the underlying emotions, although Damasio stresses they are distinct [epi-]
    This page describes the Smiley infrastructure and codelets that instantiate the epiphenomena defined in the Meta file and Slipnet. 
    Infrastructure sensors are introduced. 
    The role of phenomena in shaping the environment is discussed. 
    The focusing of forces by phenomena in Smiley is discussed. 
    The Meta file association of case keywords with phenomena is included. 
    The codelets and supporting functions are included. 
    phenomena

Damasio concludes the base of 'being' is an endless feeling state, generated from the stream of pulses of feeling integrated in the flow of mental images and classifying them rapidly without further analysis.  And Damasio sees this binding as indispensible.  But he laments feelings are often seen as dispensable and dangerous. 

Sociality, depends on affect.  Drives, motivations and conventional emotions are all inherently social.  Play is a powerful tool for learning social competence.  It appears universal among socially complex species.  It has an evolved high priority displacing foraging and using up energy stores.  There are a number of behavioral strategies practiced in play that train those participating.  Play:
  • Supports safe practice of using social tools.  Allows for trying out roles and honing motor skills. 
  • Allows a peer group to provide context for these developments: Approach to hierarchy; etc.  Parents will aim to select the peer group. 
  • It integrates cultural details from local neighborhoods
  • It supports practice of aggression. 
  • Demonstrates that transient stress is enjoyable. 
  • It allows the developing neuron network to identify which synapses to prune.  
, desire, lust, caring, attachment is John Bowlby's model of mother infant bonding.  He argued that infants need: love, warmth, affection, responsiveness, stimulation, consistency, reliability; or they become anxious, depressed, and/or poorly attached adults.  Evolutionarily, sociopaths may be highly successful as managers and leaders but they are probably anxious.  Sapolsky notes the powerful association between murder rates and stopping pregnant girls from terminating unwanted pregnancies.  Typical mothers also provide training on social conventions and their children's position in the group hierarchy.  Children raised without a mother's support fail to understand social constraints and when to use social behaviors.  And in the presence of unsupportive mothers newborns attach to negative stimuli.  This response is explained by the SHRP.  Abused children subsequently seek out abusive relationships as adults.  And a percentage of infants abused by their mothers become abusive mothers. 
, love is an emotion, which generates a feeling of pleasure at a genetic relative's well-being and pain in their harm.  An inseminated human female is genetically a full relative of her partner since she carries his germ-line gametes.  From any of their pooled gene's perspective the offspring have a one-in-two chance of including the specific gene.  Hence love supports kin selection driven by the selfish actions of genes.  Emotions, including love and anger, help drive the interactions between people.  Compassionate love also supports the symbiotic partnership of true friends built on fairness and trust.  Sapolsky notes the opposite of love is indifference, not hate.  The amygdala's projection into the locus ceruleus drives autonomic intensity. 
all operate in a social context

Damasio writes that emotive response to images apply to the images of feelings.  This allows the layering of feelings.  This supports intellectualization of feelings: great poetry depends on layered feelings. 

Valence
Damasio defines valence as the inherent quality of the experience.  The old internal world of the
This page reviews the implications of reproduction initially generating a single child cell.  The mechanism and resulting strategic options are discussed. 
organism
qualified as good, bad, or in between, which we apprehend as pleasant or unpleasant, or in between those extremes.  The origins of valence go back to early forms of life.  But Damasio notes, the immediate antecedents of valence are found in the ongoing global state of the organism:

The construction of feelings
Nervous systems provide the capabilities to encapsulate an
This page reviews the implications of reproduction initially generating a single child cell.  The mechanism and resulting strategic options are discussed. 
organism's
emotive processes.  Damasio explains once
Computational theory of the mind and evolutionary psychology provide Steven Pinker with a framework on which to develop his psychological arguments about the mind and its relationship to the brain.  Humans captured a cognitive niche by natural selection 'building out' specialized aspects of their bodies and brains resulting in a system of mental organs we call the mind. 

He garnishes and defends the framework with findings from psychology regarding: The visual system - an example of natural selections solutions to the sensory challenges of inverse modeling of our environment; Intensions - where he highlights the challenges of hunter gatherers - making sense of the objects they perceive and predicting what they imply and natural selections powerful solutions; Emotions - which Pinker argues are essential to human prioritizing and decision making; Relationships - natural selection's strategies for coping with the most dangerous competitors, other people.  He helps us understand marriage, friendships and war. 

These conclusions allow him to understand the development and maintenance of higher callings: Art, Music, Literature, Humor, Religion, & Philosophy; and develop a position on the meaning of life. 

Complex adaptive system (CAS) modeling allows RSS to frame Pinker's arguments within humanity's current situation, induced by powerful evolved amplifiers: Globalization, Cliodynamics, The green revolution and resource bottlenecks; melding his powerful predictions of the drivers of human behavior with system wide constraints.  The implications are discussed. 

minds
were built, feelings are subjective models: sad, glad, mad, scared, surprised, and compassionate; of the organism and its proximate environment, including ratings of situations signalled by broadly distributed chemicals and neural circuits.  These feelings become highly salient inputs, evolutionarily associated, to higher level emotions encoded in neural circuits: amygdala, and insula.  Deacon shows James' conception of feeling can build sentience.  Damasio, similarly, asserts feelings reveal to the conscious mind the subjective status of life: good, bad, in between; within a higher organism.  They especially indicate the affective situation within the old interior world of the viscera located in the abdomen, thorax and thick of the skin - so smiling makes one feel happy; but augmented with the reports from the situation of the new interior world of voluntary muscles.  Repeated experiences build intermediate narratives, in the mind, which reduce the salience.  Damasio concludes feelings relate closely and consistently with homeostasis, acting as its mental deputies once organisms developed 'nervous systems' about 600 million years ago, and building on the precursor regulatory devices supplied by evolution to social insects and prokaryotes and leveraging analogous dynamic constraints.  Damasio suggests feelings contribute to the development of culture:
  • As motives for intellectual creation: prompting detection and diagnosis of homeostatic deficiencies, identifying desirable states worthy of creative effort.
  • As monitors of the success and failure of cultural instruments and practices
  • As participants in the negotiation of adjustments required by the cultural process over time 
could
The agents in complex adaptive systems (CAS) must model their environment to respond effectively to it.  Samuel modeling is described as an approach. 
model
these lower level details of homeostasis is, according to Damasio, the fundamental set of operations at the core of life, from the earliest and long-vanished point of its beginning in early biochemistry to the present.  It is the powerful, unthought, unspoken imperative, whose discharge implies, for every living organism, small or large, nothing less than enduring and prevailing.  Damasio stresses that the operations that ensure prevailing ensure life is regulated within a range that is not just compatible with survival but also conducive to flourishing, to protection of life into the future of an organism or a species.  Prevailing implies mechanisms for monitoring and modeling the state of the organism, controlling and constraining the flows of energy and resources through schematic agency, and to facilitate exploring the environment and acting on signals of modeled opportunities and threats.  Global homeostasis of multi-organ animals requires endocrine, immune, circulatory and nervous 'systems' and results in the emergence of minds, feelings, consciousness, machinery of affect and complex movements.  The emergence of feelings allowed the homeostatic process to become enhanced by a subjective representation of the organism's state and proximate environment within the mind.  Feelings operating in minds allowed conscious decisions to extend homeostasis to the sociocultural domain. 


Feelings were constructed and conserved by
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
evolution
because the knowledge they imparted made a difference to the organism's survival and replication.  They made homeostasis useful to the mind of the organism.  The simple positive or negative nature of spontaneous feelings, helped as did the ability to interrupt attention is the focusing of our mental resources onto a specific piece of information.  Attention uses valuations assigned to each potential object of thought by the basal ganglia. 
- they were felt.  And the integration of models of the situation where they previously occurred would be useful to an 'executive' in making decisions about what to do.  Damasio concludes that both vertebrates and social insects have feelings and consciousness.  But Damasio notes that evolution had been capturing useful signals and mechanisms: molecules that indicated the organism's state, innate (non-adaptive) immune system has to support and protect an inventory of host cell types, detect and respond to invaders and maintain the symbiont equilibrium within the microbiome.  It detects microbes which have breached the secreted mucus barrier, driving them back and fortifying the barrier.  It culls species within the microbiome that are expanding beyond requirements.  It destroys invaders who make it into the internal transport networks.  As part of its initialization it has immune cells which suppress the main system to allow the microbiome to bootstrap.  The initial microbiome is tailored by the antibodies supplied from the mother's milk while breastfeeding.  The immune system consists of two main parts the older non-adaptive part and the newer adaptive part.  The adaptive part achieves this property by being schematically specified by DNA which is highly variable.  By rapid reproduction the system recombines the DNA variable regions in vast numbers of offspring cells which once they have been shown not to attack the host cell lines are used as templates for interacting with any foreign body (antigen).  When the immune cell's DNA hyper-variable regions are expressed as y-shaped antibody proteins they typically include some receptor like structures which match the surfaces of the typical antigen.  Once the antibody becomes bound to the antigen the immune system cells can destroy the invader. 
, circulatory systems, endocrine systems, nerve nets; providing homeostatic feedback for billions of years, and the capabilities would have spread. 

Damasio argues that the organism, with a mind in a body that is contiguous with its nervous system is needed to build feelings:
Damasio notes that a duality is an assumed separation of the mind and body.  It has a long history.  Descartes's Cartesian dualism assumes the mind and body are two clocks in synchrony but otherwise unrelated.  John Locke commented 'It is impossible to conceive that matter, either with or without motion, could have, originally, in and from itself, sense, perception, and knowledge; as is evident from hence, that then sense, perception, and knowledge, must be a property eternally separable from matter and every particle of it.'  Chalmers describes this explanatory gap as the hard problem of consciousness.  Damasio explains that the construction of feelings requires there be no duality, and he shows how it then emerged due to the structure of affect in humans. 
is introduced by the 'imaging' of the body frame and its sensory portals, where the feelings appear separate from the other types. 

The body and nervous system are tightly integrated.  Damasio notes the presence of: chemicals released into the circulatory system that alter viscera and metabolism & can gain access to the nervous system at checkpoints including the area postrema and circumventricular organs, nervous system has pathways to all body structures; while he notes the nervous system is separated from visual and audible environmental stimuli, but not taste, smell and touch.  This difference is important for cognitive science and philosophy of mind to consider. 

Damasio notes the problems with using the triune brain is Dr. Paul MacLean's popular but discredited 1940s theory of the brain.  He proposed a three layer structure:
  1. Reptilian inner brain containing circuits for basic survival; which is interfaced to layer 2 through the hypothalamus and together with the brain stem, spine and projections into the body make up the autonomic nervous system. 
  2. Limbic middle brain containing emotional circuits which signal layer 1 through the hypothalamus. 
  3. Rational outer brain which is uniquely human.  
model.  Evolutions continued deployments of enhancements to the limbic structures supports emotional circuits: Amygdala, Hippocampus, Septum, Habenula, Mammillary bodies; all of which signals the midbrain through the hypothalamus. The broad interconnections of these regions with a part of the frontal lobe suggested to Walle Nauta that it (ventromedial prefrontal cortex) is a quasi-member of the limbic network.  , and the integrated operation of the limbic and other neural structures.  Damasio argues it is important to include other parts in the picture: brain stem includes: medulla, raphe, pons, substantia nigra, ventral tegmental area, pituitary, superior colliculi, cerebellum, thalamus (LGN), basal ganglia including caudate nucleus and striatum; amygdala, hypothalamus, nucleus accumbens; nuclei (especially the parabrachial nucleus) which receive and initiate emotive responses that include drives, motivations and emotions are low level fast unconscious agents distributed across the brain and body which associate, via the amygdala and rich club hubs, important environmental signals with encoded high speed sensors, and distributed programs of action to model: predict, prioritize guidance signals, select and respond effectively, coherently and rapidly to the initial signal.  The majority of emotion centered brain regions interface to the midbrain through the hypothalamus.  The cerebellum and basal ganglia support the integration of emotion and motor functions, rewarding rhythmic movement.  The most accessible signs of emotions are the hard to control and universal facial expressions.  Emotions provide prioritization for conscious access given that an animal has only one body, but possibly many cells, with which to achieve its highest level goals.  Because of this emotions clash with group goals and are disparaged by the powerful.  Evolutionary psychology argues evolution shaped human emotions during the long period of hunter-gatherer existence in the African savanna.  Human emotions are universal and include: Anger, Appreciation of natural beauty, Disgust, Fear, Gratitude, Grief, Guilt, Happiness, Honor, Jealousy, Liking, Love, Rage, Romantic love, Lust for revenge, Passion, Sadness, Self-control, Shame, Sympathy, Surprise; and the sham emotions and distrust induced by reciprocal altruism. 
, peripheral neural structures in proximity with the body. 

Damasio stresses: peripheral structures involved in signalling, is an emergent capability which is used by cooperating agents to support coordination & rival agents to support control and dominance.  In eukaryotic cells signalling is used extensively.  A signal interacts with the exposed region of a receptor molecule inducing it to change shape to an activated form.  Chains of enzymes interact with the activated receptor relaying, amplifying and responding to the signal to change the state of the cell.  Many of the signalling pathways pass through the nuclear membrane and interact with the DNA to change its state.  Enzymes sensitive to the changes induced in the DNA then start to operate generating actions including sending further signals.  Cell signalling is reviewed by Helmreich.  Signalling is a fundamental aspect of CAS theory and is discussed from the abstract CAS perspective in signals and sensors.  In AWF the eukaryotic signalling architecture has been abstracted in a codelet based implementation.  To be credible signals must be hard to fake.  To be effective they must be easily detected by the target recipient.  To be efficient they are low cost to produce and destroy. 
the brain are as or older than the feeling-related parts of the CNS is the central nervous system
.  And they use direct chemical and circulatory mechanisms to interact through parts of the nervous system that do not include a blood brain barrier.  It was recently realized that this also includes the dorsal root ganglia bring together the cell bodies of neurons whose axons are distributed widely in viscera and convey body signals to the CNS, Damasio explains.  They are located all along the spinal column, at the level of each vertebra, linking the periphery and spinal chord.  He adds they are devoid of a blood-brain barrier. 
.  Similarly interoceptive indicate the body's internal homeostatic state: Pain, Fatigue; seconds to minutes before.  The signals are conveyed to the CNS via unmyelinated C fibers or lightly myelinated A delta fibers.  Damasio suggests this is key to the fabrication of feelings, allowing interaction with the surrounding chemical environment and cross talk between axons.  These signals operate unconsciously unless mapped by feelings into consciousness.  The interoceptive 'networks': default mode network; project to brain regions that implement social emotions. 
fibers have avoided adding much myelination is the fatty insulating material deployed by Schwann cells & oligodendrocytes, both types of glial cells, around axons to improve their conduction rate.  In humans it is still occurring 25 years after birth.  It has great impact on long axons, in neurons that project over long distances, where it helps brain inter-region signalling.  The long development time of myelination allows for the later myelinated brain regions to be particularly shaped by the proximate environment. 
.  Damasio concludes Non-synaptic, a neuron structure which provides a junction with other neurons.  It generates signal molecules, either excitatory or inhibitory, which are kept in vesicles until the synapse is stimulated when the signal molecules are released across the synaptic cleft from the neuron.  The provisioning of synapses is under genetic control and is part of long term memory formation as identified by Eric Kandel.  Modulation signals (from slow receptors) initiate the synaptic strengthening which occurs in memory. 
mechanisms of transmission are important: between axons, between cell bodies, and between neurons, specialized eukaryotic cells include channels which control flows of sodium and potassium ions across the massively extended cell membrane supporting an electro-chemical wave which is then converted into an outgoing chemical signal transmission from synapses which target nearby neuron or muscle cell receptors.  Neurons are supported by glial cells.  Neurons include a:
  • Receptive element - dendrites
  • Transmitting element - axon and synaptic terminals.  The axon may be myelinated, focusing the signals through synaptic transmission, or unmyelinated - where crosstalk is leveraged. 
  • Highly variable DNA schema using transposons. 
and glia support neurons: Creating the initial structural tracks along which the neurons travel, Insulating them by deploying the myelin sheath - an activity which is influenced by sleep, Storing energy for them and removing debris from damage to neurons.  Robert Sapolsky notes Glial cells outnumber neurons ten to one.  They include various subtypes.  They greatly influence how neurons speak to one another, and also form glial networks that communicate completely differently from neurons. 
.  And these mechanisms occur in the enteric nervous system, which plays an important role in feeling are subjective models: sad, glad, mad, scared, surprised, and compassionate; of the organism and its proximate environment, including ratings of situations signalled by broadly distributed chemicals and neural circuits.  These feelings become highly salient inputs, evolutionarily associated, to higher level emotions encoded in neural circuits: amygdala, and insula.  Deacon shows James' conception of feeling can build sentience.  Damasio, similarly, asserts feelings reveal to the conscious mind the subjective status of life: good, bad, in between; within a higher organism.  They especially indicate the affective situation within the old interior world of the viscera located in the abdomen, thorax and thick of the skin - so smiling makes one feel happy; but augmented with the reports from the situation of the new interior world of voluntary muscles.  Repeated experiences build intermediate narratives, in the mind, which reduce the salience.  Damasio concludes feelings relate closely and consistently with homeostasis, acting as its mental deputies once organisms developed 'nervous systems' about 600 million years ago, and building on the precursor regulatory devices supplied by evolution to social insects and prokaryotes and leveraging analogous dynamic constraints.  Damasio suggests feelings contribute to the development of culture:
  • As motives for intellectual creation: prompting detection and diagnosis of homeostatic deficiencies, identifying desirable states worthy of creative effort.
  • As monitors of the success and failure of cultural instruments and practices
  • As participants in the negotiation of adjustments required by the cultural process over time 
and mood, as evidenced by: nausea, the major tributary of the vagus nerve, microbiome, the trillions of bacteria and viruses that live inside higher animals' guts, on their skin etc.  These bacteria and viruses seem to play a role in: immune responses, digesting food, making nutrients, controlling mental health and maintaining a healthy weight.  The signals from the gut microbiota are relayed by major nerve fibers: vagus; to the central nervous system.  The symbiotic relationship must be actively managed.  Human armpits include glands which provide food favoring certain symbionts who build a defensive shield above the skin.  In the human gut: Barriers are setup: Mucus secretions form a physical constraint and provide sites for bacteriophages to anchor and attack pathogenic bacteria; Symbiont tailored nourishment: Plant-heavy food creates opportunities for fibre specialists like Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron; is provided, Selective binding sites are provided, Poisons are deployed against the unwelcome, and Temperature, acidity and oxygenation are managed.    High throughput sequencing allows the characterization of bacterial populations inside guts.  Beginning at birth, as they pass down the birth canal infants are supplied with a microbiome from their mothers.  If they are borne via cesarean they never receive some of the key bacteria: Bifidobaterium infantis which is also dependent on oligosaccharides in breast milk; from their mothers.  A variety of diseases may be caused by changes in the microbiome:
  • Eczema can be related to changes in the skin microbiome. 
  • Obesity can be induced by changes to the gut microbiome.  
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Allergies
  • Type 1 diabetes
integrated tightly with the gut, digestive disorders correlate with pathologies of mood, enteric nervous system generates 95% of the body's serotonin is a neurotransmitter.  it is:
  • Inversely associated with: human impulsive, cricket, mollusk, crustacean; aggression.  Low levels of serotonin are associated with impulsive aggression ranging from psychological measures of hostility to overt violence and cognitive impulsivity and impulsive suicide. 
  • Nearly all synthesized in the Raphe nucleus.  Tryptophan hydroxylase makes serotonin from the amino-acid tryptophan.  Monoamine oxidase degrades serotonin.  The serotonin receptor binds serotonin to initiate cross membrane signalling.  The serotonin transporter actively removes serotonin from synapses.  Serotonin levels can be increased with: exercise, high light levels, consumption of chickpeas and traditional lime boiled corn tortillas.  Reuptake is inhibited by SSRIs.  Variants of the genes coding for these various enzymes alter the strength of their effects. 
  • Increasing serotonin signalling does not lessen impulsiveness in normal subjects but did in those prone to impulsivity.  However, such experiments are fraught with complexity:
    • Transient changes induced by drugs may adjust the immediate levels of serotonin but may not demonstrate structural effects. 
    • Gene variants likely produce structural changes in the developing brain.  
    • Effects monitored in experiments are often tiny.  
    • Behavioral changes: Violence, Arson, Exhibitionism; seen in different test subjects may be difficult to compare.  
    • Monoamine oxidase has high gene/environment interactions undermining heritability estimates.  Its gene promotor is regulated by stress and glucocorticoids.  So non genetic factors such as childhood adversity and adult provocation appear to be significant.  


Damasio notes we feel a cut at its source on the body, which is helpful for our survival.  This requires the brain regions responsible for developing the feelings of pain emerged as a mental experience, Damasio asserts, constructed by the mind using mapping structures and events provided by nervous systems.  But feeling pain is supported by older biological functions that support homeostasis.  These capabilities reflect the organism's underlying emotive processes that respond to wounds: antibacterial and analgesic chemical deployment, flinching and evading actions; that occur in organisms without nervous systems.  Later in evolution, after organisms with nervous systems were able to map non-neural events, the components of this complex response were 'imageable'.  Today, a wound induced by an internal disease is reported by old, unmyelinated C nerve fibers.  A wound created by an external cut is signalled by evolutionarily recent myelinated fibers that result in a sharp well-localized report, that initially flows to the dorsal root ganglia, then to the spinal cord, where the signals are mixed within the dorsal and ventral horns, and then are transmitted to the brain stem nuclei, thalamus and cerebral cortex.  The pain of a cut is located, but it is also felt through an emotive response that stops us in our tracks.  Pain amplifies the aggression response of people by interoceptive signalling of brain regions providing social emotions including the PAG projecting to the amygdala; making aggressive people more so and less aggressive people less so.  Pain is the main reason people visit the ED in the US.  Pain is mediated by the thalamus and nucleus accumbens, unless undermined by sleep deprivation. 
, be coactive with the regions responsible: somatosensory cortex are the brain's map of bodily touch, muscular, and action signals.  Pain signals become a consciously positioned ouch. 
; for locating the injury in the periphery via the global neural map of the body. 

Damasio also concludes that feelings are responded to across the
This page reviews the implications of reproduction initially generating a single child cell.  The mechanism and resulting strategic options are discussed. 
organism
, in its attempts to maintain homeostasis is, according to Damasio, the fundamental set of operations at the core of life, from the earliest and long-vanished point of its beginning in early biochemistry to the present.  It is the powerful, unthought, unspoken imperative, whose discharge implies, for every living organism, small or large, nothing less than enduring and prevailing.  Damasio stresses that the operations that ensure prevailing ensure life is regulated within a range that is not just compatible with survival but also conducive to flourishing, to protection of life into the future of an organism or a species.  Prevailing implies mechanisms for monitoring and modeling the state of the organism, controlling and constraining the flows of energy and resources through schematic agency, and to facilitate exploring the environment and acting on signals of modeled opportunities and threats.  Global homeostasis of multi-organ animals requires endocrine, immune, circulatory and nervous 'systems' and results in the emergence of minds, feelings, consciousness, machinery of affect and complex movements.  The emergence of feelings allowed the homeostatic process to become enhanced by a subjective representation of the organism's state and proximate environment within the mind.  Feelings operating in minds allowed conscious decisions to extend homeostasis to the sociocultural domain. 
, and in deciding about future actions.  He notes how episodic memory is the memory of conscious experiences.  The entorhinal cortex's place cells record both space AND time details so that the memory stream can be reconstructed episodically.  Damasio notes that feelings are indirect aspects of the recalled stream, and how positive or negative the memory is can alter over time. 
recall, which is needed to make these decisions, must reintegrate the feelings used in fast thinking, but these replacements may vary over time.  And he sees this leverage of feelings in the motives behind the development of the instruments and practices of culture is how we do and think about things, transmitted by non-genetic means as defined by Frans de Waal.  CAS theory views cultures as operating via memetic schemata evolved by memetic operators to support a cultural superorganism.  Evolutionary psychology asserts that human culture reflects adaptations generated while hunting and gathering.  Dehaene views culture as essentially human, shaped by exaptations and reading, transmitted with support of the neuronal workspace and stabilized by neuronal recycling.  Damasio notes prokaryotes and social insects have developed cultural social behaviors.  Sapolsky argues that parents must show children how to transform their genetically derived capabilities into a culturally effective toolset.  He is interested in the broad differences across cultures of: Life expectancy, GDP, Death in childbirth, Violence, Chronic bullying, Gender equality, Happiness, Response to cheating, Individualist or collectivist, Enforcing honor, Approach to hierarchy; illustrating how different a person's life will be depending on the culture where they are raised.  Culture:
  • Is deployed during pregnancy & childhood, with parental mediation.  Nutrients, immune messages and hormones all affect the prenatal brain.  Hormones: Testosterone with anti-Mullerian hormone masculinizes the brain by entering target cells and after conversion to estrogen binding to intracellular estrogen receptors; have organizational effects producing lifelong changes.  Parenting style typically produces adults who adopt the same approach.  And mothering style can alter gene regulation in the fetus in ways that transfer epigenetically to future generations!  PMS symptoms vary by culture. 
  • Is also significantly transmitted to children by their peers during play.  So parents try to control their children's peer group.  
  • Is transmitted to children by their neighborhoods, tribes, nations etc. 
  • Influences the parenting style that is considered appropriate. 
  • Can transform dominance into honor.  There are ecological correlates of adopting honor cultures.  Parents in honor cultures are typically authoritarian. 
  • Is strongly adapted across a meta-ethnic frontier according to Turchin.  
  • Across Europe was shaped by the Carolingian empire. 
  • Can provide varying levels of support for innovation.  Damasio suggests culture is influenced by feelings: 
    • As motives for intellectual creation: prompting detection and diagnosis of homeostatic deficiencies, identifying desirable states worthy of creative effort.
    • As monitors of the success and failure of cultural instruments and practices
    • As participants in the negotiation of adjustments required by the cultural process over time 
  • Produces consciousness according to Dennet. 


Consciousness
Damasio reviews the key aspects of
Consciousness is no longer mysterious.  In this page we use complex adaptive system (CAS) theory to describe the high-level architecture of consciousness, linking sensory networks, low level feelings and genetically conserved and deployed neural structures into a high level scheduler.  Consciousness is evolution's solution to the complex problems of effective, emergent, multi-cellular perception based strategy.  Constrained by emergence and needing to avoid the epistemological problem of starting with a blank slate with every birth, evolution was limited in its options. 

We explain how survival value allows evolution to leverage available tools: sensors, agent relative position, models, perception & representation; to solve the problem of mobile agents responding effectively to their own state and proximate environment.  Evolution did this by providing a genetically constructed framework that can develop into a conscious CAS. 

And we discuss the implications with regard to artificial intelligence, sentient robots, augmented intelligence, and aspects of philosophy. 
consciousness
:
Damasio asserts that nothing matters without subjectivity, and reflection and discernment, needed for creativity, depend on the integrated experience of consciousness.  Still he notes the conscious
Computational theory of the mind and evolutionary psychology provide Steven Pinker with a framework on which to develop his psychological arguments about the mind and its relationship to the brain.  Humans captured a cognitive niche by natural selection 'building out' specialized aspects of their bodies and brains resulting in a system of mental organs we call the mind. 

He garnishes and defends the framework with findings from psychology regarding: The visual system - an example of natural selections solutions to the sensory challenges of inverse modeling of our environment; Intensions - where he highlights the challenges of hunter gatherers - making sense of the objects they perceive and predicting what they imply and natural selections powerful solutions; Emotions - which Pinker argues are essential to human prioritizing and decision making; Relationships - natural selection's strategies for coping with the most dangerous competitors, other people.  He helps us understand marriage, friendships and war. 

These conclusions allow him to understand the development and maintenance of higher callings: Art, Music, Literature, Humor, Religion, & Philosophy; and develop a position on the meaning of life. 

Complex adaptive system (CAS) modeling allows RSS to frame Pinker's arguments within humanity's current situation, induced by powerful evolved amplifiers: Globalization, Cliodynamics, The green revolution and resource bottlenecks; melding his powerful predictions of the drivers of human behavior with system wide constraints.  The implications are discussed. 

mind
is not monalithic: the mode that is in focus will depend on whats already in attention is the focusing of our mental resources onto a specific piece of information.  Attention uses valuations assigned to each potential object of thought by the basal ganglia. 
.  And there will be symbols in the stream of consciousness.  The subjectivity drifts between experiencing the conscious narrative, as a spectator, and if our past experience intersects with the narrative, we emerge, saliently, as the subject.  And all the 'images' in the mind are framed from the perspective of the subject.  If subjectivity is absent the entire mind enterprise is almost useless. 

Damasio notes that subjectivity is a process with two critical ingredients:
  1. Building a perspective for Mental 'Images' - clearly shown for the visual system with the sensory portals proving critical.  Looking includes many acts executed by a complicated set of
    Plans are interpreted and implemented by agents.  This page discusses the properties of agents in a complex adaptive system (CAS). 
    It then presents examples of agents in different CAS.  The examples include a computer program where modeling and actions are performed by software agents.  These software agents are aggregates. 
    The participation of agents in flows is introduced and some implications of this are outlined. 
    agents
    set in and around the eye are major sensors in primates, based on opsins deployed in the retina & especially fovea, signalling the visual system: Superior colliculi, Thalamus (LGN), Primary visual cortex; and indirectly the amygdala.  They also signal [social] emotional state to other people.  And they have implicit censorious power with pictures of eyes encouraging people within their view to act more honorably.  Eyes are poor scanners and use a saccade to present detail slowly to the fovea.  The eye's optical structures and retina are supported by RPE.  Eyes do not connect to the brain through the brain stem and so still operate in locked-in syndrome.  Evo-devo shows eyes have deep homology.  High pressure within the eye can result in glaucoma.  Genetic inheritance can result in retinoblastoma.  Age is associated with AMD. 
    , but not involving the retinas or visual cortex.  The signals are mapped by the somatosensory system are the brain's map of bodily touch, muscular, and action signals.  Pain signals become a consciously positioned ouch. 
    to obtain the correct framing of visual images.  A set of meta-models provides the details for making visual images self oriented, which are hidden from attention.  When details are recalled from memory in the brain includes functionally different types: Declarative, or explicit, (episodic and semantic), Implicit, Procedural, Spatial, Temporal, Verbal; Hebb suggested that glutamate receptive neurons learn by (NMDA channel based) synaptic strengthening: short term memory.  This was shown to happen for explicit memory formation in the hippocampus.  This strengthening is sustained by subsequent LTP.  The non-real-time learning and planning processes operate through consciousness using the working memory structures, and then via sleep, the salient ones are consolidated while the rest are destroyed and garbage collected.   they are interspersed with ongoing percepts of the moment, anchoring the memory in the personal perspective. 
  2. Accompaniment of 'images' by feelings are subjective models: sad, glad, mad, scared, surprised, and compassionate; of the organism and its proximate environment, including ratings of situations signalled by broadly distributed chemicals and neural circuits.  These feelings become highly salient inputs, evolutionarily associated, to higher level emotions encoded in neural circuits: amygdala, and insula.  Deacon shows James' conception of feeling can build sentience.  Damasio, similarly, asserts feelings reveal to the conscious mind the subjective status of life: good, bad, in between; within a higher organism.  They especially indicate the affective situation within the old interior world of the viscera located in the abdomen, thorax and thick of the skin - so smiling makes one feel happy; but augmented with the reports from the situation of the new interior world of voluntary muscles.  Repeated experiences build intermediate narratives, in the mind, which reduce the salience.  Damasio concludes feelings relate closely and consistently with homeostasis, acting as its mental deputies once organisms developed 'nervous systems' about 600 million years ago, and building on the precursor regulatory devices supplied by evolution to social insects and prokaryotes and leveraging analogous dynamic constraints.  Damasio suggests feelings contribute to the development of culture:
    • As motives for intellectual creation: prompting detection and diagnosis of homeostatic deficiencies, identifying desirable states worthy of creative effort.
    • As monitors of the success and failure of cultural instruments and practices
    • As participants in the negotiation of adjustments required by the cultural process over time 
    Homeostasis is, according to Damasio, the fundamental set of operations at the core of life, from the earliest and long-vanished point of its beginning in early biochemistry to the present.  It is the powerful, unthought, unspoken imperative, whose discharge implies, for every living organism, small or large, nothing less than enduring and prevailing.  Damasio stresses that the operations that ensure prevailing ensure life is regulated within a range that is not just compatible with survival but also conducive to flourishing, to protection of life into the future of an organism or a species.  Prevailing implies mechanisms for monitoring and modeling the state of the organism, controlling and constraining the flows of energy and resources through schematic agency, and to facilitate exploring the environment and acting on signals of modeled opportunities and threats.  Global homeostasis of multi-organ animals requires endocrine, immune, circulatory and nervous 'systems' and results in the emergence of minds, feelings, consciousness, machinery of affect and complex movements.  The emergence of feelings allowed the homeostatic process to become enhanced by a subjective representation of the organism's state and proximate environment within the mind.  Feelings operating in minds allowed conscious decisions to extend homeostasis to the sociocultural domain. 
    provides background feelings that can be associated with the images being constructed.  And our
    Computational theory of the mind and evolutionary psychology provide Steven Pinker with a framework on which to develop his psychological arguments about the mind and its relationship to the brain.  Humans captured a cognitive niche by natural selection 'building out' specialized aspects of their bodies and brains resulting in a system of mental organs we call the mind. 

    He garnishes and defends the framework with findings from psychology regarding: The visual system - an example of natural selections solutions to the sensory challenges of inverse modeling of our environment; Intensions - where he highlights the challenges of hunter gatherers - making sense of the objects they perceive and predicting what they imply and natural selections powerful solutions; Emotions - which Pinker argues are essential to human prioritizing and decision making; Relationships - natural selection's strategies for coping with the most dangerous competitors, other people.  He helps us understand marriage, friendships and war. 

    These conclusions allow him to understand the development and maintenance of higher callings: Art, Music, Literature, Humor, Religion, & Philosophy; and develop a position on the meaning of life. 

    Complex adaptive system (CAS) modeling allows RSS to frame Pinker's arguments within humanity's current situation, induced by powerful evolved amplifiers: Globalization, Cliodynamics, The green revolution and resource bottlenecks; melding his powerful predictions of the drivers of human behavior with system wide constraints.  The implications are discussed. 

    minds
    already have feelings integrated with the 'images' that are retrieved from memory. 
The construction of consciousness additionally requires the integration of 'images' of experiences, with the subjective structures.  Damasio concludes that consciousness emerges from the interactive enchainments related to life, and so it reflects the physics and chemistry of the
This page reviews the implications of reproduction initially generating a single child cell.  The mechanism and resulting strategic options are discussed. 
organism
, and can't be isolated to a specific region or system in the brain.  But he notes some regions and systems do produce the subjectivity and images: different regions generate ingredients that are incorporated in sequential, or parallel processions.  Coordination of the assembly would require participation of the medial cortical regions and especially the posteromedial cortices, assisted by the thalamic nuclei. 


Damasio reviews Chalmers hard problem of consciousness: why and how the mental activities, by which brains construct images, become conscious? and why experience is accompanied by feelings are subjective models: sad, glad, mad, scared, surprised, and compassionate; of the organism and its proximate environment, including ratings of situations signalled by broadly distributed chemicals and neural circuits.  These feelings become highly salient inputs, evolutionarily associated, to higher level emotions encoded in neural circuits: amygdala, and insula.  Deacon shows James' conception of feeling can build sentience.  Damasio, similarly, asserts feelings reveal to the conscious mind the subjective status of life: good, bad, in between; within a higher organism.  They especially indicate the affective situation within the old interior world of the viscera located in the abdomen, thorax and thick of the skin - so smiling makes one feel happy; but augmented with the reports from the situation of the new interior world of voluntary muscles.  Repeated experiences build intermediate narratives, in the mind, which reduce the salience.  Damasio concludes feelings relate closely and consistently with homeostasis, acting as its mental deputies once organisms developed 'nervous systems' about 600 million years ago, and building on the precursor regulatory devices supplied by evolution to social insects and prokaryotes and leveraging analogous dynamic constraints.  Damasio suggests feelings contribute to the development of culture:
  • As motives for intellectual creation: prompting detection and diagnosis of homeostatic deficiencies, identifying desirable states worthy of creative effort.
  • As monitors of the success and failure of cultural instruments and practices
  • As participants in the negotiation of adjustments required by the cultural process over time 
.  Damasio notes that in his homeostatic is, according to Damasio, the fundamental set of operations at the core of life, from the earliest and long-vanished point of its beginning in early biochemistry to the present.  It is the powerful, unthought, unspoken imperative, whose discharge implies, for every living organism, small or large, nothing less than enduring and prevailing.  Damasio stresses that the operations that ensure prevailing ensure life is regulated within a range that is not just compatible with survival but also conducive to flourishing, to protection of life into the future of an organism or a species.  Prevailing implies mechanisms for monitoring and modeling the state of the organism, controlling and constraining the flows of energy and resources through schematic agency, and to facilitate exploring the environment and acting on signals of modeled opportunities and threats.  Global homeostasis of multi-organ animals requires endocrine, immune, circulatory and nervous 'systems' and results in the emergence of minds, feelings, consciousness, machinery of affect and complex movements.  The emergence of feelings allowed the homeostatic process to become enhanced by a subjective representation of the organism's state and proximate environment within the mind.  Feelings operating in minds allowed conscious decisions to extend homeostasis to the sociocultural domain. 
driven framework of mind feelings are part of experiences giving these
This page reviews the implications of reproduction initially generating a single child cell.  The mechanism and resulting strategic options are discussed. 
organisms
an
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
evolutionary
advantage.   And with additional advantages accrued from subjectivity Damasio is able to show why and how 'felt' mental states are produced. 


The cultural mind at work
On cultures
Damasio argues cultural minds depend on consciousness, affect and imaging:
Damasio notes biology was accepted as shaping culture is how we do and think about things, transmitted by non-genetic means as defined by Frans de Waal.  CAS theory views cultures as operating via memetic schemata evolved by memetic operators to support a cultural superorganism.  Evolutionary psychology asserts that human culture reflects adaptations generated while hunting and gathering.  Dehaene views culture as essentially human, shaped by exaptations and reading, transmitted with support of the neuronal workspace and stabilized by neuronal recycling.  Damasio notes prokaryotes and social insects have developed cultural social behaviors.  Sapolsky argues that parents must show children how to transform their genetically derived capabilities into a culturally effective toolset.  He is interested in the broad differences across cultures of: Life expectancy, GDP, Death in childbirth, Violence, Chronic bullying, Gender equality, Happiness, Response to cheating, Individualist or collectivist, Enforcing honor, Approach to hierarchy; illustrating how different a person's life will be depending on the culture where they are raised.  Culture:
  • Is deployed during pregnancy & childhood, with parental mediation.  Nutrients, immune messages and hormones all affect the prenatal brain.  Hormones: Testosterone with anti-Mullerian hormone masculinizes the brain by entering target cells and after conversion to estrogen binding to intracellular estrogen receptors; have organizational effects producing lifelong changes.  Parenting style typically produces adults who adopt the same approach.  And mothering style can alter gene regulation in the fetus in ways that transfer epigenetically to future generations!  PMS symptoms vary by culture. 
  • Is also significantly transmitted to children by their peers during play.  So parents try to control their children's peer group.  
  • Is transmitted to children by their neighborhoods, tribes, nations etc. 
  • Influences the parenting style that is considered appropriate. 
  • Can transform dominance into honor.  There are ecological correlates of adopting honor cultures.  Parents in honor cultures are typically authoritarian. 
  • Is strongly adapted across a meta-ethnic frontier according to Turchin.  
  • Across Europe was shaped by the Carolingian empire. 
  • Can provide varying levels of support for innovation.  Damasio suggests culture is influenced by feelings: 
    • As motives for intellectual creation: prompting detection and diagnosis of homeostatic deficiencies, identifying desirable states worthy of creative effort.
    • As monitors of the success and failure of cultural instruments and practices
    • As participants in the negotiation of adjustments required by the cultural process over time 
  • Produces consciousness according to Dennet. 
, and social Darwinism interpreted as eugenics aimed at appalling sociocultural transformation.  In the shadow of this damage evolutionary psychology asserts that human culture reflects adaptations that developed during human's long hunter-gatherer past living on the African savanna.  Its implications are described in The Adapted Mind.  Subsequent studies of the effects of selection on the human genome show significant changes due to our more recent history as well. 
has explained the biological transmission of culture-related traits.  But the focus was on genetic replication, not emotion are low level fast unconscious agents distributed across the brain and body which associate, via the amygdala and rich club hubs, important environmental signals with encoded high speed sensors, and distributed programs of action to model: predict, prioritize guidance signals, select and respond effectively, coherently and rapidly to the initial signal.  The majority of emotion centered brain regions interface to the midbrain through the hypothalamus.  The cerebellum and basal ganglia support the integration of emotion and motor functions, rewarding rhythmic movement.  The most accessible signs of emotions are the hard to control and universal facial expressions.  Emotions provide prioritization for conscious access given that an animal has only one body, but possibly many cells, with which to achieve its highest level goals.  Because of this emotions clash with group goals and are disparaged by the powerful.  Evolutionary psychology argues evolution shaped human emotions during the long period of hunter-gatherer existence in the African savanna.  Human emotions are universal and include: Anger, Appreciation of natural beauty, Disgust, Fear, Gratitude, Grief, Guilt, Happiness, Honor, Jealousy, Liking, Love, Rage, Romantic love, Lust for revenge, Passion, Sadness, Self-control, Shame, Sympathy, Surprise; and the sham emotions and distrust induced by reciprocal altruism. 
and feeling are subjective models: sad, glad, mad, scared, surprised, and compassionate; of the organism and its proximate environment, including ratings of situations signalled by broadly distributed chemicals and neural circuits.  These feelings become highly salient inputs, evolutionarily associated, to higher level emotions encoded in neural circuits: amygdala, and insula.  Deacon shows James' conception of feeling can build sentience.  Damasio, similarly, asserts feelings reveal to the conscious mind the subjective status of life: good, bad, in between; within a higher organism.  They especially indicate the affective situation within the old interior world of the viscera located in the abdomen, thorax and thick of the skin - so smiling makes one feel happy; but augmented with the reports from the situation of the new interior world of voluntary muscles.  Repeated experiences build intermediate narratives, in the mind, which reduce the salience.  Damasio concludes feelings relate closely and consistently with homeostasis, acting as its mental deputies once organisms developed 'nervous systems' about 600 million years ago, and building on the precursor regulatory devices supplied by evolution to social insects and prokaryotes and leveraging analogous dynamic constraints.  Damasio suggests feelings contribute to the development of culture:
  • As motives for intellectual creation: prompting detection and diagnosis of homeostatic deficiencies, identifying desirable states worthy of creative effort.
  • As monitors of the success and failure of cultural instruments and practices
  • As participants in the negotiation of adjustments required by the cultural process over time 
.  Damasio aims to raise awareness of the contribution of affect and feelings to the biology of cultures: feeling allowing the success of a response to be monitored by the system responsible for its motivation; by demonstrating feelings (homeostasis is, according to Damasio, the fundamental set of operations at the core of life, from the earliest and long-vanished point of its beginning in early biochemistry to the present.  It is the powerful, unthought, unspoken imperative, whose discharge implies, for every living organism, small or large, nothing less than enduring and prevailing.  Damasio stresses that the operations that ensure prevailing ensure life is regulated within a range that is not just compatible with survival but also conducive to flourishing, to protection of life into the future of an organism or a species.  Prevailing implies mechanisms for monitoring and modeling the state of the organism, controlling and constraining the flows of energy and resources through schematic agency, and to facilitate exploring the environment and acting on signals of modeled opportunities and threats.  Global homeostasis of multi-organ animals requires endocrine, immune, circulatory and nervous 'systems' and results in the emergence of minds, feelings, consciousness, machinery of affect and complex movements.  The emergence of feelings allowed the homeostatic process to become enhanced by a subjective representation of the organism's state and proximate environment within the mind.  Feelings operating in minds allowed conscious decisions to extend homeostasis to the sociocultural domain. 
) impact on cultural processes through its engaging of creative intellect.  Damasio sees natural selection augmented by subjectively directed invention, to support the goals of survival, flourishing and reproduction.  For humans there are many steps to achieving these results with culture:
  1. Capitalize on
    This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
    evolutions
    tool-bag of simple social responses &
  2. Capitalize on intermediate mechanisms generation of complex emotive responses is according to Damasio, a process including a collection of actions: release of specific chemicals in sites of the CNS or their transport, by neural signalling to varied regions of the nervous system and body.  Endocrine glands are signalled and produce molecules capable of altering body function; altering viscera, that changes the homeostatic state of the organism, and may change the spontaneous feelings too.  A cascade of spontaneous homeostatic changes: metabolism, nervous system, immune response, mind builds 'images'; becomes an ensemble of actions each represented in the mind, summarized as a provoked feeling.  Attention to the feelings varies depending on the current state of the mind.  Emotive responses are generated non consciously by specific nuclei in the brain:
    • Hypothalamic nuclei
    • PAG
    • Amygdala nuclei and nucleus accumbens; each nuclei activated by particular streams of signals, from the senses or memory, enabling responses to vast numbers of sensations, objects and circumstances with drives, motivations and emotions. 
    & consequent feelings
  3. Feelings can act as arbiters of the process at two levels: Demanding a response when drift towards death, Allow arbitration of the quality of the potential responses by inspecting the associated affect. 
Damasio concludes feelings are the judges of the cultural creative process, integrated with reason.  And when the cultural selection was successful it also altered the frequencies of genes.  He sees
Matt Ridley demonstrates the creative effect of man on the World. He highlights:
  • A list of preconditions resulting in
  • Additional niche capture & more free time 
  • Building a network to interconnect memes processes & tools which
  • Enabling inter-generational transfers
  • Innovations that help reduce environmental stress even as they leverage fossil fuels

tool-making
as validating the idea, inventions developed by creative intelligence in response to fundamental needs: hunger, thirst, cold, heat, malaise, pain; in the context of groups.  And while medicine is harder to link to some chain of creative inventions, beneficial sociality appears more likely to improve homeostasis than aggression.  Violence by males can capture females and other resources.  Religions, particularly Buddhism, moral, judicial and political systems provide relief for the soul from personal losses.  Damasio sees religious beliefs enabling the development of moral, judicial and political systems.  And he sees disasters as encouraging religious belief. 

The arts, philosophy and the sciences leverage an especially broad range of feelings and homeostasis.  Damasio notes that the objects is a collection of: happenings, occurrences and processes; including emergent entities, as required by relativity, explains Rovelli.  But natural selection has improved our fitness by representing this perception, in our minds, as an unchanging thing, as explained by Pinker.  Dehaene explains the object modeling and construction process within the unconscious and conscious brain. 
in our history were not affectively neutral.  They, and their separate features, can be expected to be associated to feelings indicating their impact: pleasurable or painful; as we learn about them.  These feelings could be leveraged by those experimenting with the different components of culture, to provide meaning to the recipients.  And the benefits have been vast are defined by Beinhocker as methods and designs for organizing people in pursuit of a goal or goals. He views the three most significant social technologies as: markets, science, and democracy.  A war example is Fuller & Liddell Hart's theory of high-speed tank warfare, subsequently instantiated by Guderian as Blitzkrieg. 
: music, art, stories, dance, fire, wheel,
Reading and writing present a conundrum.  The reader's brain contains neural networks tuned to reading.  With imaging a written word can be followed as it progresses from the retina through a functional chain that asks: Are these letters? What do they look like? Are they a word? What does it sound like? How is it pronounced? What does it mean?  Dehaene explains the importance of education in tuning the brain's networks for reading as well as good strategies for teaching reading and countering dyslexia.  But he notes the reading networks developed far too recently to have directly evolved.  And Dehaene asks why humans are unique in developing reading and culture. 

He explains the cultural engineering that shaped writing to human vision and the exaptations and neuronal structures that enable and constrain reading and culture. 

Dehaene's arguments show how cellular, whole animal and cultural complex adaptive system (CAS) are related.  We review his explanations in CAS terms and use his insights to link cultural CAS that emerged based on reading and writing with other levels of CAS from which they emerge. 

writing
,
Deaton describes the wellbeing of people around the world today.  He explains the powerful benefit of public health strategies and the effect of growth in material wellbeing but also the corrosive effects of aid. 

Following our summary of Deaton's arguments RSS comments from the perspective of complex adaptive system (CAS) theory.  The situation he describes is complex including powerful amplifiers, alignment and incentives that overlap broadly with other RSS summaries of adaptations of: The biosphere, Politics, Economics, Philosophy and Health care. 

health


Damasio notes that some cultural phenomena have resulted in early positive feelings but led to
This page discusses the methods of avoiding traps.  Genetic selection and learning to avoid traps are reviewed. 
traps
: misery of communism; since there is no guarantee of success in applying homeostatic inspiration. 

Damasio asserts human culture depends on both conscious feeling and creative intelligence.  The jewels of culture depended on a motive, and the ability to think beyond what could be immediately perceived and interpret and diagnose a situation.  He notes the importance of evening campfire rituals: protection from large predators,
Matt Ridley demonstrates the creative effect of man on the World. He highlights:
  • A list of preconditions resulting in
  • Additional niche capture & more free time 
  • Building a network to interconnect memes processes & tools which
  • Enabling inter-generational transfers
  • Innovations that help reduce environmental stress even as they leverage fossil fuels

efficient eating
,
E O. Wilson argues that campfire gatherings on the savanna supported the emergence of human creativity.  This resulted in man building cultures and later exploring them, and their creator, through the humanities.  Wilson identifies the transformative events, but he notes many of these are presently ignored by the humanities.  So he calls for a change of approach. 

He:
  • Explores creativity: how it emerged from the benefits of becoming an omnivore hunter gatherer, enabled by language & its catalysis of invention, through stories told in the evening around the campfire. He notes the power of fine art, but suggests music provides the most revealing signature of aesthetic surprise. 
  • Looks at the current limitations of the humanities, as they have suffered through years of neglect.  
  • Reviews the evolutionary processes of heredity and culture:
    • Ultimate causes viewed through art, & music
    • The bedrock of:
      • Ape senses and emotions,
      • Creative arts, language, dance, song typically studied by humanities, & 
      • Exponential change in science and technology.  
    • How the breakthrough from our primate past occurred, powered by eating meat, supporting: a bigger brain, expanded memory & language. 
    • Accelerating changes now driven by genetic cultural coevolution.  
    • The impact on human nature.  
  • Considers our emotional attachment to the natural world: hunting, gardens; we are destroying. 
  • Reviews our love of metaphor, archetypes, exploration, irony, and considers the potential for a third enlightenment, supported by cooperative action of humanities and science

Following our summary of his arguments RSS frames these from the perspective of complex adaptive system (CAS) theory:
  • The humanities are seen to be a functionalist framework for representing the cultural CAS while 
  • Wilson's desire to integrate the humanities and science gains support from viewing the endeavor as a network of layered CAS. 

socializing
; still generating a feeling of anticipation. 

Medicine, immortality, and algorithms
Medicine's goal is homeostatic is, according to Damasio, the fundamental set of operations at the core of life, from the earliest and long-vanished point of its beginning in early biochemistry to the present.  It is the powerful, unthought, unspoken imperative, whose discharge implies, for every living organism, small or large, nothing less than enduring and prevailing.  Damasio stresses that the operations that ensure prevailing ensure life is regulated within a range that is not just compatible with survival but also conducive to flourishing, to protection of life into the future of an organism or a species.  Prevailing implies mechanisms for monitoring and modeling the state of the organism, controlling and constraining the flows of energy and resources through schematic agency, and to facilitate exploring the environment and acting on signals of modeled opportunities and threats.  Global homeostasis of multi-organ animals requires endocrine, immune, circulatory and nervous 'systems' and results in the emergence of minds, feelings, consciousness, machinery of affect and complex movements.  The emergence of feelings allowed the homeostatic process to become enhanced by a subjective representation of the organism's state and proximate environment within the mind.  Feelings operating in minds allowed conscious decisions to extend homeostasis to the sociocultural domain. 
repair.  Damasio notes the potential of technology to support this goal.  He lauds the various opportunities provided by CRISPR is clustered replicating interspersed silent palindromic repeats; a technique for exact targeting, cutting and editing of DNA based on leveraging bacterial enzymatic defenses against viruses generalized to any DNA sequence in a prokaryotic or eukaryotic cell.  It was identified during studies of a bacterial adaptive immune system.  In that system bacterial proteins grab parts of a virus that has infected them and record it within the palindromic structures that mark an array of inserted viral DNA used as a log persisted over generations.  If a new infection occurs the viral DNA is compared with the sequences and if a match exists the CAS proteins break up the viral DNA initiating its destruction.  This bacterial system was then updated and repurposed by the researchers to support targeted genetic engineering.  As explained by Dr. Doudna, the CRISPR proteins and the 20 nucleotide RNA template migrate into the nucleus where they rapidly target DNA which complements the RNA template and the Cas9 enzyme performs the edits.  Being a bacterial system CRISPR Cas9 does not target eukaryotic heterochromatic DNA well.  It is not fully understood how they find the target sequence so quickly.  It has been shown that Cas9 will bind to sites with a 5-8 base match but then it releases rapidly without cutting.  To cut, Cas9 has to reconfigure, which does not occur in the mismatch situations.  /Cas9, but notes the complexity of the task.  And he notes the uncertainty is when a factor is hard to measure because it is dependent on many interconnected agents and may be affected by infrastructure and evolved amplifiers.  This is different from Risk.   and ethical, political and economic is the study of trade between humans.  Traditional Economics is based on an equilibrium model of the economic system.  Traditional Economics includes: microeconomics, and macroeconomics.  Marx developed an alternative static approach.  Limitations of the equilibrium model have resulted in the development of: Keynes's dynamic General Theory of Employment Interest & Money, and Complexity Economics.  Since trading depends on human behavior, economics has developed behavioral models including: behavioral economics. 
issues of altering the human germ-line, a master copy of the schematic structures is maintained for reproduction of offspring.  There will also be somatic copies which are modified by the operational agents so that they can represent their current state.  

Artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics developments are also technologically advanced activities related to use of performance enhancers to sustain the homeostatic imperative governing cultural evolution.  AI based pattern recognition may dramatically enhance the robustness and efficiency of medical diagnosis.  Similarly enhanced prostheses and augmented capabilities: perception; appear low risk, is an assessment of the likelihood of an independent problem occurring.  It can be assigned an accurate probability since it is independent of other variables in the system.  As such it is different from uncertainty. 
and promising to Damasio. 

Damasio asserts it may be worth trying for immortality as long as we don't need to explain the achievement to a supreme creator, or suffer diseases of the aged: Dementia is a classification of memory impairment, constrained feelings and enfeebled or extinct intellect.  The most common form for people under 60 is FTD.  Dementia has multiple causes including: vascular disease (inducing VCI) including strokes, head trauma, syphilis and mercury poisoning for treating syphilis, alcoholism, B12 deficiency (Sep 2016), privation, Androgen deprivation therapy (Oct 2016), stress, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and prion infections such as CJD and kuru.  The condition is typically chronic and treatment long term (Laguna Honda ward) and is predicted by Stanley Prusiner to become a major burden on the health system.  It may be possible to constrain the development some forms of dementia by: physical activity, hypertension management, and ongoing cognitive training.  Dementia appears to develop faster in women than men.  , and Cancers is the out-of-control growth of cells, which have stopped obeying their cooperative schematic planning and signalling infrastructure.  It results from compounded: oncogene, tumor suppressor, DNA caretaker; mutations in the DNA.  In 2010 one third of Americans are likely to die of cancer.  Cell division rates did not predict likelihood of cancer.  Viral infections are associated.  Radiation and carcinogen exposure are associated.  Lifestyle impacts the likelihood of cancer occurring: Drinking alcohol to excess, lack of exercise, Obesity, Smoking, More sun than your evolved melanin protection level; all significantly increase the risk of cancer occurring (Jul 2016). 
.  Damasio asks, is perpetuity the complete achievement of homeostasis is, according to Damasio, the fundamental set of operations at the core of life, from the earliest and long-vanished point of its beginning in early biochemistry to the present.  It is the powerful, unthought, unspoken imperative, whose discharge implies, for every living organism, small or large, nothing less than enduring and prevailing.  Damasio stresses that the operations that ensure prevailing ensure life is regulated within a range that is not just compatible with survival but also conducive to flourishing, to protection of life into the future of an organism or a species.  Prevailing implies mechanisms for monitoring and modeling the state of the organism, controlling and constraining the flows of energy and resources through schematic agency, and to facilitate exploring the environment and acting on signals of modeled opportunities and threats.  Global homeostasis of multi-organ animals requires endocrine, immune, circulatory and nervous 'systems' and results in the emergence of minds, feelings, consciousness, machinery of affect and complex movements.  The emergence of feelings allowed the homeostatic process to become enhanced by a subjective representation of the organism's state and proximate environment within the mind.  Feelings operating in minds allowed conscious decisions to extend homeostasis to the sociocultural domain. 
?  He notes immortality would be the ultimate stage of life, and would be due to human creativity.  But it would remove the homeostatic impetus induced by fear of death, pain and suffering.  And Damasio's conception of the
This page reviews the implications of reproduction initially generating a single child cell.  The mechanism and resulting strategic options are discussed. 
organism
as central undermines other's fanciful speculations about downloading human intelligence into a computer

Damasio notes the layered and algorithmic nature of
This page introduces the complex adaptive system (CAS) theory frame.  The theory is positioned relative to the natural sciences.  It catalogs the laws and strategies which underpin the operation of systems that are based on the interaction of emergent agents. 
John Holland's framework for representing complexity is outlined.  Links to other key aspects of CAS theory discussed at the site are presented. 
CAS
.  AI and robotics also depends on algorithms.  Some researchers assume that all these things are reducible to algorithms, but Damasio identifies the fallacy: organisms are not algorithms; they are just constructed by algorithms, and use algorithms to operate.  The biochemistry of the organisms is not purely algorithmic.  A different CAS instantiation will have different physics, chemistry and biochemistry and will require different algorithms.  Our substrate makes our feelings are subjective models: sad, glad, mad, scared, surprised, and compassionate; of the organism and its proximate environment, including ratings of situations signalled by broadly distributed chemicals and neural circuits.  These feelings become highly salient inputs, evolutionarily associated, to higher level emotions encoded in neural circuits: amygdala, and insula.  Deacon shows James' conception of feeling can build sentience.  Damasio, similarly, asserts feelings reveal to the conscious mind the subjective status of life: good, bad, in between; within a higher organism.  They especially indicate the affective situation within the old interior world of the viscera located in the abdomen, thorax and thick of the skin - so smiling makes one feel happy; but augmented with the reports from the situation of the new interior world of voluntary muscles.  Repeated experiences build intermediate narratives, in the mind, which reduce the salience.  Damasio concludes feelings relate closely and consistently with homeostasis, acting as its mental deputies once organisms developed 'nervous systems' about 600 million years ago, and building on the precursor regulatory devices supplied by evolution to social insects and prokaryotes and leveraging analogous dynamic constraints.  Damasio suggests feelings contribute to the development of culture:
  • As motives for intellectual creation: prompting detection and diagnosis of homeostatic deficiencies, identifying desirable states worthy of creative effort.
  • As monitors of the success and failure of cultural instruments and practices
  • As participants in the negotiation of adjustments required by the cultural process over time 
so specific.  Artificially intelligent systems will never have the substrate to generate our feelings. 

Damasio argues that:
Damasio highlights the power of feelings: drug addiction results from changes in the operation of the brain's reward network's regulatory regions, altering the anticipation of rewards.  Addictive drugs mediate the receptors of the reward network, increasing dopamine in the pleasure centers of the cortex.  The learned association of the situation with the reward makes addiction highly prone to relapse, when the situation is subsequently experienced.  This makes addiction a chronic disease, where the sufferer must remain vigilant to avoid relapse inducing situations.  Repeated exposure to the addictive drug alters the reward network.  The neurons that produce dopamine are impaired, no longer sending dopamine to the reward target areas, reducing the feeling of pleasure.  But the situational association remains strong driving the addict to repeat the addictive activity.  Destroying the memory of the pleasure inducer may provide a treatment for addiction in the future.  Addiction has a genetic component, which supports inheritance.  Some other compulsive disorders: eating, gambling, sexual behavior; are similar to drug addiction. 
and pain management is an iterative process, overseen by a doctor, to limit a patient's pain.  The process is doctor prescribed, RN managed, pharmacist validated, and patient administered.  The process may be coordinated by pain management specialists.  Pain management is central to modern surgery where it is supported by hospital infrastructure.  It is central to the perioperative process.  It is a major aspect of ED operations.  It has been extended out to discharged patients with chronic long term pain where it can lead to opioid dependency.  Treatments include: Opioids including: Fentanyl, Morphine, OxyContin, Percocet; NSAIDs, Cannabinoids, Acupuncture, Massage, CBT, and Mindfulness.   are currently huge medical problems.  Feelings and homeostasis, are motivators of these two issues (the chemicals and their receptors, in biological cells these proteins are able to span the cell membrane and present an active site which is tailored to interact with a specific signal.  When the receptor pairs with its signal, its overall shape changes resulting in changes in the part internal to the cell which can be relayed by the cells signalling infrastructure.  In neuron synapses one type of receptor (fast) is associated with an ion channel.  The other (slow) is associated with a signalling enzyme chain and modulates the neuron's response. 
are central to the ancient evolved homeostatic processes) and sustain the demand. 

On the human condition now
Damasio notes the lack of homeostasis is, according to Damasio, the fundamental set of operations at the core of life, from the earliest and long-vanished point of its beginning in early biochemistry to the present.  It is the powerful, unthought, unspoken imperative, whose discharge implies, for every living organism, small or large, nothing less than enduring and prevailing.  Damasio stresses that the operations that ensure prevailing ensure life is regulated within a range that is not just compatible with survival but also conducive to flourishing, to protection of life into the future of an organism or a species.  Prevailing implies mechanisms for monitoring and modeling the state of the organism, controlling and constraining the flows of energy and resources through schematic agency, and to facilitate exploring the environment and acting on signals of modeled opportunities and threats.  Global homeostasis of multi-organ animals requires endocrine, immune, circulatory and nervous 'systems' and results in the emergence of minds, feelings, consciousness, machinery of affect and complex movements.  The emergence of feelings allowed the homeostatic process to become enhanced by a subjective representation of the organism's state and proximate environment within the mind.  Feelings operating in minds allowed conscious decisions to extend homeostasis to the sociocultural domain. 
in our present situation.  He compares the present: anger is an emotion which protects a person who has been cheated by a supposed friend.  When the exploitation of the altruism is discovered, Steven Pinker explains, the result is a drive for moralistic aggression to hurt the cheater.  ,
Charles Ferguson argues that the US power structure has become highly corrupt. 

Ferguson identifies key events which contributed to the transformation:
  • Junk bonds, 
  • Derivative deregulation, 
  • CMOs, ABS and analyst fraud,
  • Financial network deregulation,
  • Financial network consolidation, 
  • Short term incentives
Subsequently the George W. Bush administration used the situation to build a global bubble, which Wall Street leveraged.  The bursting of the bubble: managed by the Bush Administration and Bernanke Federal Reserve; was advantageous to some. 

Ferguson concludes that the restructured and deregulated financial services industry is damaging to the American economy.  And it is supported by powerful, incentive aligned academics.   He sees the result being a rigged system. 

Ferguson offers his proposals for change and offers hope that a charismatic young FDR will appear. 

Following our summary of his arguments, RSS comments on them framed by complex adaptive system (CAS) theory.  Once the constraints are removed from CAS amplifiers, it becomes advantageous to leverage the increased flows.  And it is often relatively damaging not to participate.  Corruption and parasitism can become entrenched. 

concentration of power
, increased isolation and autocracy; to the situation at the collapse of the Roman Empire.  But we have seen the problems of allowing this trend to continue in
Ed Conway argues that Bretton Woods produced a unique set of rules and infrastructure for supporting the global economy.  It was enabled by the experience of Keynes and White during and after the First World War, their dislike of the Gold Standard, the necessity of improving the situation between the wars and the opportunity created by the catastrophe of the Second World War. 

He describes how it was planned and developed.  How it emerged from the summit.  And he shows how the opportunity inevitably allowed the US to replace the UK at the center of the global economy. 

Like all plans there are mistakes and Conway takes us through them and how the US recovered the situation as best it could. 

And then Conway describes the period after Bretton Woods collapsed.  He explains what followed and also compares the relative performance of the various periods before during and after Bretton Woods. 

Following our summary of his arguments RSS comments from the perspective of Complex Adaptive System (CAS) theory.  Conway's book illustrates the rule making and infrastructure that together build an evolved amplifier.  He shows the strategies at play of agents that were for and against the development and deployment of the system.  And The Summit provides a key piece of the history of our global economic CAS. 

World War 2
and the Cold War.  To Damasio is seems clear that cooperation could better solve the problems of complex cultures.  Is the issue complacency?

Damasio laments that while there has been so much progress:
  • Increased knowledge and access to it
  • Global interconnectedness
  • Improved ability to diagnose and cure disease
  • Operable artificial intelligence;
He can't ignore the current problems:
Damasio concludes there is a cultural crisis.  He asks if there is a biological explanation for this cultural crisis, which he explores with a positive and negative scenario:
Damsio sees us struggling with an unresolved clash between two worlds encompassed by the human condition:
  1. We have produced cultural forms of life management to complement the basic forms operating in individuals.  These leverage knowledge to respond to nature's constraints, creating cultures is how we do and think about things, transmitted by non-genetic means as defined by Frans de Waal.  CAS theory views cultures as operating via memetic schemata evolved by memetic operators to support a cultural superorganism.  Evolutionary psychology asserts that human culture reflects adaptations generated while hunting and gathering.  Dehaene views culture as essentially human, shaped by exaptations and reading, transmitted with support of the neuronal workspace and stabilized by neuronal recycling.  Damasio notes prokaryotes and social insects have developed cultural social behaviors.  Sapolsky argues that parents must show children how to transform their genetically derived capabilities into a culturally effective toolset.  He is interested in the broad differences across cultures of: Life expectancy, GDP, Death in childbirth, Violence, Chronic bullying, Gender equality, Happiness, Response to cheating, Individualist or collectivist, Enforcing honor, Approach to hierarchy; illustrating how different a person's life will be depending on the culture where they are raised.  Culture:
    • Is deployed during pregnancy & childhood, with parental mediation.  Nutrients, immune messages and hormones all affect the prenatal brain.  Hormones: Testosterone with anti-Mullerian hormone masculinizes the brain by entering target cells and after conversion to estrogen binding to intracellular estrogen receptors; have organizational effects producing lifelong changes.  Parenting style typically produces adults who adopt the same approach.  And mothering style can alter gene regulation in the fetus in ways that transfer epigenetically to future generations!  PMS symptoms vary by culture. 
    • Is also significantly transmitted to children by their peers during play.  So parents try to control their children's peer group.  
    • Is transmitted to children by their neighborhoods, tribes, nations etc. 
    • Influences the parenting style that is considered appropriate. 
    • Can transform dominance into honor.  There are ecological correlates of adopting honor cultures.  Parents in honor cultures are typically authoritarian. 
    • Is strongly adapted across a meta-ethnic frontier according to Turchin.  
    • Across Europe was shaped by the Carolingian empire. 
    • Can provide varying levels of support for innovation.  Damasio suggests culture is influenced by feelings: 
      • As motives for intellectual creation: prompting detection and diagnosis of homeostatic deficiencies, identifying desirable states worthy of creative effort.
      • As monitors of the success and failure of cultural instruments and practices
      • As participants in the negotiation of adjustments required by the cultural process over time 
    • Produces consciousness according to Dennet. 

  2. Nature-given rules of life regulation, with pain emerged as a mental experience, Damasio asserts, constructed by the mind using mapping structures and events provided by nervous systems.  But feeling pain is supported by older biological functions that support homeostasis.  These capabilities reflect the organism's underlying emotive processes that respond to wounds: antibacterial and analgesic chemical deployment, flinching and evading actions; that occur in organisms without nervous systems.  Later in evolution, after organisms with nervous systems were able to map non-neural events, the components of this complex response were 'imageable'.  Today, a wound induced by an internal disease is reported by old, unmyelinated C nerve fibers.  A wound created by an external cut is signalled by evolutionarily recent myelinated fibers that result in a sharp well-localized report, that initially flows to the dorsal root ganglia, then to the spinal cord, where the signals are mixed within the dorsal and ventral horns, and then are transmitted to the brain stem nuclei, thalamus and cerebral cortex.  The pain of a cut is located, but it is also felt through an emotive response that stops us in our tracks.  Pain amplifies the aggression response of people by interoceptive signalling of brain regions providing social emotions including the PAG projecting to the amygdala; making aggressive people more so and less aggressive people less so.  Pain is the main reason people visit the ED in the US.  Pain is mediated by the thalamus and nucleus accumbens, unless undermined by sleep deprivation. 
    and pleasure is the outcome of the dopamine reward system, argues UCSF professor Robert Lustig.  He, like the early Christians, contrasts [addiction oriented] pleasure with serotonin driven happiness & contentment. 
    framing our conscious response.  We have nothing to do with making either the rules or pain and pleasure. And we don't impact the way
    This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
    natural selection
    builds the apparatus of affect.  This world focuses our attention onto the individual. 
Damasio sees an unresolved clash, and doubts we can identify the actual way forward with too many unknowns.  The costly burden of innovation is the economic realization of invention and combinatorial exaptation.  While highly innovative, monopolies: AT&T, IBM; usually have limited economic reach, constraining productivity.  This explains the use of regulation, or even its threat, that can check their power and drive the creations across the economy. 
and consciousness leave us falling back to individual decisions about avoiding pain.  He notes the trend from tragedy to drama (a partnership of reason and emotions) over human history and hopes for the
An epistatic meme suppressed for a thousand years reemerges during the enlightenment. 
It was a poem encapsulating the ideas of Epicurus rediscovered by a humanist book hunter. 
Greenblatt describes the process of suppression and reemergence.  He argues that the rediscovery was the foundation of the modern world. 
Complex adaptive system (CAS) models of the memetic mechanisms are discussed. 

strategic pursuit of happiness





This page introduces the complex adaptive system (CAS) theory frame.  The theory is positioned relative to the natural sciences.  It catalogs the laws and strategies which underpin the operation of systems that are based on the interaction of emergent agents. 
John Holland's framework for representing complexity is outlined.  Links to other key aspects of CAS theory discussed at the site are presented. 
Complex adaptive system (CAS) theory
provides a framework for understanding the
This page discusses the mechanisms and effects of emergence underpinning any complex adaptive system (CAS).  Physical forces and constraints follow the rules of complexity.  They generate phenomena and support the indirect emergence of epiphenomena.  Flows of epiphenomena interact in events which support the emergence of equilibrium and autonomous entities.  Autonomous entities enable evolution to operate broadening the adjacent possible.  Key research is reviewed. 
emergence
of
Computational theory of the mind and evolutionary psychology provide Steven Pinker with a framework on which to develop his psychological arguments about the mind and its relationship to the brain.  Humans captured a cognitive niche by natural selection 'building out' specialized aspects of their bodies and brains resulting in a system of mental organs we call the mind. 

He garnishes and defends the framework with findings from psychology regarding: The visual system - an example of natural selections solutions to the sensory challenges of inverse modeling of our environment; Intensions - where he highlights the challenges of hunter gatherers - making sense of the objects they perceive and predicting what they imply and natural selections powerful solutions; Emotions - which Pinker argues are essential to human prioritizing and decision making; Relationships - natural selection's strategies for coping with the most dangerous competitors, other people.  He helps us understand marriage, friendships and war. 

These conclusions allow him to understand the development and maintenance of higher callings: Art, Music, Literature, Humor, Religion, & Philosophy; and develop a position on the meaning of life. 

Complex adaptive system (CAS) modeling allows RSS to frame Pinker's arguments within humanity's current situation, induced by powerful evolved amplifiers: Globalization, Cliodynamics, The green revolution and resource bottlenecks; melding his powerful predictions of the drivers of human behavior with system wide constraints.  The implications are discussed. 

minds
, feelings are subjective models: sad, glad, mad, scared, surprised, and compassionate; of the organism and its proximate environment, including ratings of situations signalled by broadly distributed chemicals and neural circuits.  These feelings become highly salient inputs, evolutionarily associated, to higher level emotions encoded in neural circuits: amygdala, and insula.  Deacon shows James' conception of feeling can build sentience.  Damasio, similarly, asserts feelings reveal to the conscious mind the subjective status of life: good, bad, in between; within a higher organism.  They especially indicate the affective situation within the old interior world of the viscera located in the abdomen, thorax and thick of the skin - so smiling makes one feel happy; but augmented with the reports from the situation of the new interior world of voluntary muscles.  Repeated experiences build intermediate narratives, in the mind, which reduce the salience.  Damasio concludes feelings relate closely and consistently with homeostasis, acting as its mental deputies once organisms developed 'nervous systems' about 600 million years ago, and building on the precursor regulatory devices supplied by evolution to social insects and prokaryotes and leveraging analogous dynamic constraints.  Damasio suggests feelings contribute to the development of culture:
  • As motives for intellectual creation: prompting detection and diagnosis of homeostatic deficiencies, identifying desirable states worthy of creative effort.
  • As monitors of the success and failure of cultural instruments and practices
  • As participants in the negotiation of adjustments required by the cultural process over time 
and
Consciousness is no longer mysterious.  In this page we use complex adaptive system (CAS) theory to describe the high-level architecture of consciousness, linking sensory networks, low level feelings and genetically conserved and deployed neural structures into a high level scheduler.  Consciousness is evolution's solution to the complex problems of effective, emergent, multi-cellular perception based strategy.  Constrained by emergence and needing to avoid the epistemological problem of starting with a blank slate with every birth, evolution was limited in its options. 

We explain how survival value allows evolution to leverage available tools: sensors, agent relative position, models, perception & representation; to solve the problem of mobile agents responding effectively to their own state and proximate environment.  Evolution did this by providing a genetically constructed framework that can develop into a conscious CAS. 

And we discuss the implications with regard to artificial intelligence, sentient robots, augmented intelligence, and aspects of philosophy. 
consciousness
.  The development of additional layers of CAS supports Damasio's contention of homeostatic is, according to Damasio, the fundamental set of operations at the core of life, from the earliest and long-vanished point of its beginning in early biochemistry to the present.  It is the powerful, unthought, unspoken imperative, whose discharge implies, for every living organism, small or large, nothing less than enduring and prevailing.  Damasio stresses that the operations that ensure prevailing ensure life is regulated within a range that is not just compatible with survival but also conducive to flourishing, to protection of life into the future of an organism or a species.  Prevailing implies mechanisms for monitoring and modeling the state of the organism, controlling and constraining the flows of energy and resources through schematic agency, and to facilitate exploring the environment and acting on signals of modeled opportunities and threats.  Global homeostasis of multi-organ animals requires endocrine, immune, circulatory and nervous 'systems' and results in the emergence of minds, feelings, consciousness, machinery of affect and complex movements.  The emergence of feelings allowed the homeostatic process to become enhanced by a subjective representation of the organism's state and proximate environment within the mind.  Feelings operating in minds allowed conscious decisions to extend homeostasis to the sociocultural domain. 
equivalence in prokaryotes, social insects and human culture.  It suggests analogies:
Damasio sees Social
E. O. Wilson & Bert Holldobler illustrate how bundled cooperative strategies can take hold.  Various social insects have developed strategies which have allowed them to capture the most valuable available niches.  Like humans they invest in specialization and cooperate to subdue larger, well equipped competitors. 
Insect
SuperOrganisms is a wealthy autonomous entity needing and controlling the richest niches in the proximate environment, that emerges from the bundled cooperation of schematically aligned agents.   The term is based on the social insect model, used by: ants, termites, and bees; and identified by Holldobler & E.O. Wilson.  For humans it is an evolved cultural strategy used when the environment is supportive.  It depends on inter-agent signalling.  In both insects and humans it allows specialization, and encourages operations and flows that are tightly controlled, limiting waste, leveraging parallel activity, supporting coherence.  Superorganisms reflect cliodynamic flows.  A superorganism has a development and operational phase.  As additional agents are coopted into the superorganism they align, participate in supply and demand activities and so contribute to the evolutionary amplification.  Damasio notes that prokaryotes, in rich environments, can similarly operate in a symbiotic fashion expressing cultural behaviors. 
as unthinking.  "Upon registering a particular need--theirs, or the group's, or the queen's--they do not ponder alternatives for how to fulfill such a need in any way comparable to ours.  They simply fulfill it.  Their repertoire of actions is limited, and in many instances it is confined to one option," he explains.  But CAS
Plans are interpreted and implemented by agents.  This page discusses the properties of agents in a complex adaptive system (CAS). 
It then presents examples of agents in different CAS.  The examples include a computer program where modeling and actions are performed by software agents.  These software agents are aggregates. 
The participation of agents in flows is introduced and some implications of this are outlined. 
agency
does not provide any such
Terrence Deacon explores how constraints on dynamic flows can induce emergent phenomena which can do real work.  He shows how these phenomena are sustained.  The mechanism enables the development of Darwinian competition. 
constraint
.  Instead, the particular niche captured by these insects, can be seen as
Rather than oppose the direct thrust of some environmental flow agents can improve their effectiveness with indirect responses.  This page explains how agents are architected to do this and discusses some examples of how it can be done. 
indirectly
encouraging an optimization in the
Plans emerge in complex adaptive systems (CAS) to provide the instructions that agents use to perform actions.  The component architecture and structure of the plans is reviewed. 
schematic
strategies maintained by
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
evolution
within the superorganism's schematic pool.   In contrast, the cognitive niche is Tooby & DeVore's theory that reflects a flexible competitive strategy, described by Steven Pinker, which leverages the power and flexibility of intelligence to defeat the capabilities of genetically evolved specialists focused on specific niches.   demands significant schematic
To benefit from shifts in the environment agents must be flexible.  Being sensitive to environmental signals agents who adjust strategic priorities can constrain their competitors. 
flexibility
in human hunter gatherers

Deacon
Terrence Deacon explores how constraints on dynamic flows can induce emergent phenomena which can do real work.  He shows how these phenomena are sustained.  The mechanism enables the development of Darwinian competition. 
explores
the solution for bootstrapping life.  He illustrates how Kauffman's self-assembly and autocatalysis of encapsulated nucleotide bases, a nucleotide base is the side chain purine (A or G) or pyrimidine (T or C).  A is a natural pair for T.  G pairs naturally with C.  These bases have multiple uses in cells including energy transfer, second messenger signalling as well as genetic data storage, transcription and translation.  Deacon argues that the multiple uses are significant to the emergence of evolution. 
can induce autogenesis, allowing the emergence of evolution, and leveraging the ratchet of life to encapsulate negative entropy in teleodynamics

Damasio's cultural trap example does not reflect the strategies of
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
natural selection
:
Richard Dawkin's explores how nature has created implementations of designs, without any need for planning or design, through the accumulation of small advantageous changes. 
which captures small beneficial changes
; large risky changes are typically destructive to the offspring.  Large cultural memetic changes, like the introduction of communism, induce massive centralized changes to the subsequent generations of the phenotypic is the system that results from the controlled expression of the genes.  It is typically represented by a prokaryotic cell or the body of a multi-cell animal or plant.  The point is that the genes provide the control surface and the abstract recipe that has been used to generate the cell.   super organism. 

Damasio disuccess immortalityEnding aging is
In his talk 'The Science of Ending Aging' Aubrey de Grey argues we should invest more in maintenance of our bodies.  In this page we summarize his video comments and then use complex adaptive system (CAS) theory to review his arguments.  Focusing the lens of CAS theory and mechanisms of emergence on the system we highlight the pros and cons of ending aging. 
discussed
by Aubrey de Grey.  But it is not clear that
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
evolution
sees longevity as a positive option:

Damasio notes Freud's concern about man's Death Wish.  Friedman and Martin
Friedman and Martin leverage the lifelong data collected on 1,528 bright individuals selected by Dr. Lewis Terman starting in 1921, to understand what aspects of the subjects' lives significantly affected their longevity.  Looking broadly across each subject's: Personality, Education, Parental impacts, Energy levels, Partnering, Careers, Religion, Social networks, Gender, Impact from war and trauma; Friedman and Martin are able to develop a set of model pathways, which each individual could be seen to select and travel along.  Some paths led to the traveler having a long life.  Others were problematic.  The models imply that the US approach to health and wellness should focus more on supporting the development and selection of beneficial pathways. 

Following our summary of their arguments RSS comments from the perspective of CAS theory.  The pathways are most applicable to bright individuals with the resources and support necessary to make and leverage choices they make.  Striving to enter and follow a beneficial pathway seems sensible but may be impossible for individuals trapped in a collapsing network, starved of resources. 

identify
the problem of bad paths chosen by catastrophizers

Damasio highlights man's altered approach to slavery as illustrative of the better path.  But the history is not so positive.  Haiti
This page discusses the mechanisms and effects of emergence underpinning any complex adaptive system (CAS).  Physical forces and constraints follow the rules of complexity.  They generate phenomena and support the indirect emergence of epiphenomena.  Flows of epiphenomena interact in events which support the emergence of equilibrium and autonomous entities.  Autonomous entities enable evolution to operate broadening the adjacent possible.  Key research is reviewed. 
emerged
from the
This page discusses the effect of the network on the agents participating in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  Small world and scale free networks are considered. 
network
of slave plantations in the West Indies after the revolt described by Beckert.  But as a revolutionary black nation Haiti was excluded from the developing global supply chain.  Haiti is discussed by Jared Diamond in Collapse.  He explains that Haiti's democracy enabled massive over population undermining pools of otherwise renewable resources, such as trees, which have left Haiti in a poverty trap.  Unable to escape, the nation does not have the resources to
This page discusses the benefits of proactively strengthening strong points. 
prophylatically
prepare for additional problems, including the massive 2010 earth quake and subsequent cholera epidemic is the rapid spread of infectious disease: AIDS (Oct 2016), Cholera (2010), Clostridium difficile (May 2015), Ebola, Influenza, Polio, SARS, Tuberculosis, Typhoid (Apr 2018), Malaria, Yellow fever, Zika; to large numbers of people in a population within a short period of time -- two weeks or less.  Epidemics are studied and monitored by: NIAID, CDC, WHO; but are managed by states in the US.  Infection control escalation is supported by biocontainment units: Emory, Nebraska.  Once memes are included in the set of infectious schematic materials, human addictions can present as epidemics concludes Dr. Nora Volkow of the NIDA.  CEPI aims to ensure public health networks are effectively prepared for epidemics.  PHCPI aims to strengthen PCPs globally to improve responsiveness to epidemics.  GAVI helps catalyze the development and deployment of vaccines.  Sporadic investment in public health enables development of conditions for vector development: Mosquitos.  The increasing demands of the global population are altering the planet: Climate change is shifting mosquito bases, Forests are being invaded bringing wildlife and their diseases in contact with human networks.  Globalized travel acts as an infection amplifier: Ebola to Texas.  Health clinics have also acted as amplifiers: AIDS in Haiti, C. diff & MRSA infections enabled & amplified by hospitals.  Haiti earthquake support from the UN similarly introduced Cholera. 


Damasio's current problems include the difficult economic situation in the US, which is
Robert Gordon argues that the inventions of the second industrial revolution were the foundation for American economic growth.  Gordon shows how flows of people into difficult rural America built a population base which then took the opportunity to move on to urban settings: Houses, Food in supermarkets, Clothes in department stores; that supported increasing productivity and standard of living.  The deployment of nationwide networks: Rail, Road, Utilities; terminating in the urban housing and work places allowing the workers to leverage time saving goods and services, which helped grow the economy. 

Gordon describes the concomitant transformation of:
  • Communications and advertising
  • Credit and finance
  • Public health and the health care network 
  • Health insurance
  • Education
  • Social and welfare services

Counter intuitively the constraints introduced before and in the Great Depression and the demands of World War 2 provide the amplifiers that drive the inventions deeply and fully into every aspect of the economy between 1940 and 1970 creating the exceptional growth and standard of living of post war America. 

Subsequently the rate of growth was limited until the shift of women into the workplace and the full networking of voice and data supported the Internet and World Wide Web completed the third industrial revolution, but the effects were muted by the narrow reach of the technologies. 

The development of Big Data, Robots, and Artificial Intelligence may support additional growth, but Gordon is unconvinced because of the collapse of the middle class. 

Following our summary of Gordon's book RSS frames his arguments from the perspective of complex adaptive system (CAS) theory. 

discussed in The Rise and Fall of American Growth
by Robert Gordon

The impact of
Brynjolfsson and McAfee explore the effects of Moore's law on the economy.  They argue it has generated exponential growth.  This has been due to innovation.  It has created a huge bounty of additional wealth.  But the wealth is spread unevenly across society.  They look at the short and long term implications of the innovation bounty and spread and the possible future of technology. 

Following our summary of their arguments RSS comments from the perspective of CAS theory. 

new technologies
is reviewed by Brynjolfsson and McAfeeRSS is Rob's Strategy Studio see issues with the platform is agent generated infrastructure that supports emergence of an entity through: leverage of an abundant energy source, reusable resources; attracting a phenotypically aligned network of agents. 
that is leveraged.  A platform which also includes the leverage of slaves and destruction of natives:
The proximate drivers of increasing inequality are discussed by Piketty.  The
Charles Ferguson argues that the US power structure has become highly corrupt. 

Ferguson identifies key events which contributed to the transformation:
  • Junk bonds, 
  • Derivative deregulation, 
  • CMOs, ABS and analyst fraud,
  • Financial network deregulation,
  • Financial network consolidation, 
  • Short term incentives
Subsequently the George W. Bush administration used the situation to build a global bubble, which Wall Street leveraged.  The bursting of the bubble: managed by the Bush Administration and Bernanke Federal Reserve; was advantageous to some. 

Ferguson concludes that the restructured and deregulated financial services industry is damaging to the American economy.  And it is supported by powerful, incentive aligned academics.   He sees the result being a rigged system. 

Ferguson offers his proposals for change and offers hope that a charismatic young FDR will appear. 

Following our summary of his arguments, RSS comments on them framed by complex adaptive system (CAS) theory.  Once the constraints are removed from CAS amplifiers, it becomes advantageous to leverage the increased flows.  And it is often relatively damaging not to participate.  Corruption and parasitism can become entrenched. 

effect
is discussed by Ferguson and it appears to be unstable, collapsing the middle class as it shifts power to the elites.  It is too early to see if stabilizing responses are found and preserved by memetic selection.  The limited interchange between academics and business people, and lack of use of detailed memetic plans undermines the process.  Open Source and IETF, the internet engineering task force controls the processes that manage the architecture of the internet.   processes show what can be done. 

Cascading financial collapses noted by Damasio appear to be features of the US financial
This page introduces the complex adaptive system (CAS) theory frame.  The theory is positioned relative to the natural sciences.  It catalogs the laws and strategies which underpin the operation of systems that are based on the interaction of emergent agents. 
John Holland's framework for representing complexity is outlined.  Links to other key aspects of CAS theory discussed at the site are presented. 
CAS
as
Satyajit Das uses an Indonesian company's derivative trades to introduce us to the workings of the international derivatives system.  Das describes the components of the value delivery system and the key transactions.  He demonstrates how the system interacted with emerging economies expanding them, extracting profits and then moving on as the induced bubbles burst.  Following Das's key points the complex adaptive system (CAS) aspects are highlighted. 
described
by Das

Education can be seen as an outgrowth of the investment of adult humans in their children, helping them to cope with the struggles of
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
natural
and
This page describes the consequences of the asymmetries caused by genotypic traits creating a phenotypic signal in males and selection activity in the female - sexual selection.   
The impact of this asymmetry is to create a powerful alternative to natural selection with sexual selection's leverage of positive returns.  The mechanisms are described. 
sexual selection
.  This has encouraged a two track, us versus them, strategy where investment is used to support our children's competitive advantage.  But Sal Khan, is inspired by the old rural American school house,
Salman Khan argues that the evolved global education system is inefficient and organized around constraining and corralling students into accepting dubious ratings that lead to mundane roles.  He highlights a radical and already proven alternative which offers effective self-paced deep learning processes supported by technology and freed up attention of teams of teachers.  Building on his personal experience of helping overcome the unjustified failing grade of a relative Khan:
  • Iteratively learns how to teach: Starting with Nadia, Leveraging short videos focused on content, Converging on mastery, With the help of neuroscience, and filling in dependent gaps; resulting in a different approach to the mainstream method. 
  • Assesses the broken US education system: Set in its ways, Designed for the 1800s, Inducing holes that are hidden by tests, Tests which ignore creativity.  The resulting teaching process is so inefficient it needs to be supplemented with homework.  Instead teachers were encouraging their pupils to use his tools at home so they could mentor them while they attended school, an inversion that significantly improves the economics. 
  • Enters the real world: Builds a scalable service, Working with a real classroom, Trying stealth learning, At Khan Academy full time,  In the curriculum at Los Altos, Supporting life-long learning. 
  • Develops The One World Schoolhouse: Back to the future with a one room school, a robust teaching team, and creativity enabled; so with some catalysis even the poorest can become educated and earn credentials for current jobs. 
  • Wishes he could also correct: Summer holidays, Transcript based assessments, College education;
  • Concludes it is now possible to provide the infrastructure for creativity to emerge and to support risk taking. 

Following our summary of his arguments RSS frames them from the perspective of complex adaptive system (CAS) theory.  Disruption is a powerful force for change but if its force is used to support the current teachers to adopt new processes can it overcome the extended phenotypic alignment and evolutionary amplifiers sustaining the current educational network? 

demonstrates a more uplifting approach
where improved techniques are provided to anyone.  This is a strategy that has helped America improve its innovation is the economic realization of invention and combinatorial exaptation.  While highly innovative, monopolies: AT&T, IBM; usually have limited economic reach, constraining productivity.  This explains the use of regulation, or even its threat, that can check their power and drive the creations across the economy. 
capabilities


Damasio's rethinking of how life developed aligns well with
This page introduces the complex adaptive system (CAS) theory frame.  The theory is positioned relative to the natural sciences.  It catalogs the laws and strategies which underpin the operation of systems that are based on the interaction of emergent agents. 
John Holland's framework for representing complexity is outlined.  Links to other key aspects of CAS theory discussed at the site are presented. 
CAS
Terrence Deacon explores how constraints on dynamic flows can induce emergent phenomena which can do real work.  He shows how these phenomena are sustained.  The mechanism enables the development of Darwinian competition. 
constraints
on
This page discusses the mechanisms and effects of emergence underpinning any complex adaptive system (CAS).  Physical forces and constraints follow the rules of complexity.  They generate phenomena and support the indirect emergence of epiphenomena.  Flows of epiphenomena interact in events which support the emergence of equilibrium and autonomous entities.  Autonomous entities enable evolution to operate broadening the adjacent possible.  Key research is reviewed. 
emergence
, and places SuperOrganisms is a wealthy autonomous entity needing and controlling the richest niches in the proximate environment, that emerges from the bundled cooperation of schematically aligned agents.   The term is based on the social insect model, used by: ants, termites, and bees; and identified by Holldobler & E.O. Wilson.  For humans it is an evolved cultural strategy used when the environment is supportive.  It depends on inter-agent signalling.  In both insects and humans it allows specialization, and encourages operations and flows that are tightly controlled, limiting waste, leveraging parallel activity, supporting coherence.  Superorganisms reflect cliodynamic flows.  A superorganism has a development and operational phase.  As additional agents are coopted into the superorganism they align, participate in supply and demand activities and so contribute to the evolutionary amplification.  Damasio notes that prokaryotes, in rich environments, can similarly operate in a symbiotic fashion expressing cultural behaviors. 
and feelings are subjective models: sad, glad, mad, scared, surprised, and compassionate; of the organism and its proximate environment, including ratings of situations signalled by broadly distributed chemicals and neural circuits.  These feelings become highly salient inputs, evolutionarily associated, to higher level emotions encoded in neural circuits: amygdala, and insula.  Deacon shows James' conception of feeling can build sentience.  Damasio, similarly, asserts feelings reveal to the conscious mind the subjective status of life: good, bad, in between; within a higher organism.  They especially indicate the affective situation within the old interior world of the viscera located in the abdomen, thorax and thick of the skin - so smiling makes one feel happy; but augmented with the reports from the situation of the new interior world of voluntary muscles.  Repeated experiences build intermediate narratives, in the mind, which reduce the salience.  Damasio concludes feelings relate closely and consistently with homeostasis, acting as its mental deputies once organisms developed 'nervous systems' about 600 million years ago, and building on the precursor regulatory devices supplied by evolution to social insects and prokaryotes and leveraging analogous dynamic constraints.  Damasio suggests feelings contribute to the development of culture:
  • As motives for intellectual creation: prompting detection and diagnosis of homeostatic deficiencies, identifying desirable states worthy of creative effort.
  • As monitors of the success and failure of cultural instruments and practices
  • As participants in the negotiation of adjustments required by the cultural process over time 
as key to understanding today's human
This page introduces the complex adaptive system (CAS) theory frame.  The theory is positioned relative to the natural sciences.  It catalogs the laws and strategies which underpin the operation of systems that are based on the interaction of emergent agents. 
John Holland's framework for representing complexity is outlined.  Links to other key aspects of CAS theory discussed at the site are presented. 
CAS





























































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integrating quality appropriate for each market
 
This page looks at schematic structures and their uses.  It discusses a number of examples:
  • Schematic ideas are recombined in creativity. 
  • Similarly designers take ideas and rules about materials and components and combine them. 
  • Schematic Recipes help to standardize operations. 
  • Modular components are combined into strategies for use in business plans and business models. 

As a working example it presents part of the contents and schematic details from the Adaptive Web Framework (AWF)'s operational plan. 

Finally it includes a section presenting our formal representation of schematic goals. 
Each goal has a series of associated complex adaptive system (CAS) strategy strings. 
These goals plus strings are detailed for various chess and business examples. 
Strategy
| Design |
This page uses an example to illustrate how:
  • A business can gain focus from targeting key customers,
  • Business planning activities performed by the whole organization can build awareness, empowerment and coherence. 
  • A program approach can ensure strategic alignment. 
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